Drug shortages remain 'serious concern,' FDA deputy says

Lawmakers and FDA officials expressed concern about drug shortages at a recent House subcommittee hearing. "It's a serious concern not just in routine, everyday clinical care, but also in the context of a shortage of life-saving products at a time of a public health emergency," said Anna Abram, FDA's deputy commissioner for legislation and policy.

Lawmakers and FDA officials expressed concern about drug shortages at a recent House subcommittee hearing. "It's a serious concern not just in routine, everyday clinical care, but also in the context of a shortage of life-saving products at a time of a public health emergency," said Anna Abram, FDA's deputy commissioner for legislation and policy. An FDA database includes over 100 products that are in shortage, such as penicillin. Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) told the House panel that health care providers are worried these drug shortages will hinder their ability to properly respond to a massive public health emergency. The hearing was the first step by the House to reauthorize programs under the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA), which develop and maintain medical countermeasures to respond to a major outbreak of a disease. These programs will expire September 30 without new legislation. Although the Senate health committee already approved its version of the bill, the House bill is still in draft form and has some sticking points. Specifically, there are concerns about a proposal to transfer management of the national stockpile of countermeasures from CDC to the assistant secretary of preparedness and response within HHS.