Here's AMA's plan to fight drug shortages

The American Medical Association is seeking the help of the federal government and drugmakers in fighting what it calls the public health crisis of drug shortages.

"Physicians strive to provide the best possible care to their patients, which means being able to obtain the right drugs at the right time," said AMA board member William Kobler, M.D. "The fact that drug shortages worsened when major hurricanes struck drug production facilities on Puerto Rico highlights the need to evaluate and plan for hazards that pose a threat to critical infrastructure for manufacturing pharmaceutical and medical products."

As part of a policy unveiled June 12, the AMA will urge HHS and the Department of Homeland Security to evaluate drug shortages as a national security initiative, resulting in manufacturing sites being deemed critical infrastructure.

Further, the policy urges drugmakers to more openly share their drug production location and any manufacturing snags.

The policy supports recommendations made in 2017 from the AHA and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists at a drug shortage roundtable. The AMA said it will work with stakeholders to quickly implement the policy.

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