Congressman John Carney (D-Delaware) is supporting bipartisan legislation he believes will address the shortage of prescription medications – some of which could save lives.
Carney visited with doctors and nurses at the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center at Christiana Hospital this week to announce the Drug Shortage Prevention Act. According to Carney, cancer patients have been disproportionately impacted by a quadrupling of drug shortages since 2005. 230 drug shortages were reported in 2011.
“We must ensure that Americans have access to the critical drugs they need to stay healthy against deadly diseases,” Carney said.
The legislation would expedite reviews of drugs that could be vulnerable to shortages in order to anticipate dwindling supplies. Other provisions would require the Food and Drug Administration to develop a more refined regulatory process to address manufacturing problems that could lead to drug shortages. It also seeks to streamline communications between manufacturers, health professionals and regulators
“Inadequate medication supplies force the use of alternate medication that can increase the risk of side effects and sometimes is flat out not as effective,” Vice President of Christiana Care Pharmacy Services Terri Corbo said. “The potential risk to patients, whether direct or indirect, is significant.”