Drug shortages are public health crisis, AMA says

The American Medical Association has adopted a policy declaring drug shortages an urgent public health crisis and updated its approach to mitigating the shortages, it said Nov. 17.

The AMA said that a spike in COVID-19 cases has caused an increase in national drug shortages that threaten patient care and safety. Its new policy includes analyzing causes of the shortages and urging drugmakers to speed advanced manufacturing technologies. 

The AMA urged the federal government to consider drug shortages as a matter of national security. 

"It's essential for physicians to have access to the right drugs in order to provide high quality care for our patients," said Jesse Ehrenfeld, MD, the AMA's  immediate past board chair. 

The top five classes of drugs that are in short supply now, according to the AMA, are: 

  1. Central nervous system drugs
  2. Antimicrobials
  3. Cardiovascular medications
  4. Ophthalmic agents
  5. Chemotherapy agents

Many drugs in shortage are common ones required for routine patient care and ventilator support. 

Read the full news release here.

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