Cancer society urges lawmakers to resolve drug shortages

With 16 ongoing oncology drug shortages disrupting patient care, a cancer society is asking lawmakers to push legislation aimed at systemic fixes to drug shortages. 

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network penned a letter Dec. 4 to 21 members of Congress requesting they increase agency resources to improve risk assessment for potential shortages and coordinate supply chain resilience efforts as short-term solutions. 

Because drug shortages are complex, the cancer society also proposed long-term solutions, including incentivizing manufacturers to improve quality with ratings and supporting pharmaceutical facility upgrades. 

The organization also recommended the legislators review government policies that enforce "extraordinarily low-cost sterile injectables" to remain at their cheap cost — which inadvertently discourages drugmakers from fortifying safety nets for tentative shortages of common sterile injectables.

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