FDA Commissioner Checks in on Drug Shortages Progress, Likes What She Sees

FDA Commissioner Checks in on Drug Shortages Progress, Likes What She Sees

05.03.12 | By Kaelan Hollon

[caption id="attachment_2087" align="alignleft" width="140" caption="FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg"]FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg[/caption]

FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, M.D. posted a nice blog post today regarding the six-month anniversary of President Obama's Executive Order on drug shortages, and in it, she talks about some positive numbers that demonstrate that the current protocol of stakeholder cooperation and early voluntary notification is working.

" [...] I am both amazed and delighted to see the progress that's been made. Early notification to FDA of potential disruptions in drug supply has made a huge difference in our efforts - and the numbers really tell the story. Since reaching out to industry, there has been a six-fold increase in early notifications from manufacturers. Also in that six month timeframe, we have been able to prevent 128 drug shortages, and we're seeing fewer numbers of shortages occur - 42 new drugs in shortage reported in 2012, compared to 90 new shortages at this time last year."

An op-ed posted on Forbes.com today echoed a similar sentiment, written by American Enterprise Institute's Roger Bate. Bate notes the smaller companies developing security technology used by manufacturers can help detect fake medicines in event of a shortage and track the supply chain for safety issues. These entrepreneurs of smaller, security technology aren't what we might traditionally think of as a stakeholder involved in drug shortages, but their work on this issue matters. His point, that new, creative thinking by all stakeholders involved in the medicine manufacturing process is helping make medicines safer, is a worthy one.

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