Bipartisan group of senators asks FDA to examine drug shortages

Bipartisan group of senators asks FDA to examine drug shortages
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A bipartisan group of senators is asking the head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to provide recommendations to Congress on how to address nationwide drug shortages.

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Sens. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyOvernight Defense & National Security — Texas hostage situation rattles nation Senators to meet with Ukraine president to reaffirm US support Equilibrium/Sustainability — Bald eagle comeback impacted by lead poison MORE (D-Conn.) and Bill CassidyBill Cassidy​​Democrats make voting rights push ahead of Senate consideration Sunday shows - Voting rights legislation dominates GOP senator knocks Biden for 'spreading things that are untrue' in voting rights speech MORE (R-La.) led a letter to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. They, along with 29 of their Senate colleagues, asked the agency to convene its Drug Shortages Task Force in an effort to determine the causes of these shortages and craft policy recommendations on how to fix them by no later than the end of 2019.

Specifically, the letter mentions drug shortages for some routinely used medications, such as local anesthetics and sterile IV fluids, the latter of which is used to deliver nearly every drug in an emergency or surgical setting.

“These are essential products used every day, and for many of them there are no suitable alternatives that are readily available,” the senators wrote. “This can result in suboptimal pain control or sedation for patients, and ultimately limit patient access to the most appropriate care.”