Lawmakers pen bill to prevent drug shortages

Florida Rep. Cory Mills and California Rep. Sara Jacobs filed a bill April 28 that, if passed, would require drugmakers to tell the FDA if they experience a six-week-long demand increase for a product. 

The bill aims to "minimize drug shortages and improve the FDA's predictive ability and responsiveness," according to a news release from the two lawmakers. 

Currently, drug manufacturers are not required to notify the agency if and when they experience shortages — an issue that often leads to national supply issues.  

"It's critically important that parents and caregivers have uninterrupted access to the medication their child needs, whether it’s an over-the-counter treatment for cold and flu symptoms or a prescription drug to manage a chronic condition," Nicholas Holmes, MD, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego, said in the release. "With its potential to minimize drug shortages and bring peace of mind to caregivers, Rady Children's endorses this important measure."

The bill, titled the Drug Shortage Prevention Act, looks to require drugmakers to tell the FDA within 30 days of the "expected duration of the interruption," and mandate the FDA publish those notices and issue guidances to drug companies "outlining information necessary to improve demand predictability."

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