The Food and Drug Administration plans to release a report that will provide an analysis of the recent drug shortages and recommendations for the agency's role.
FDA plans report on drug shortages
HHS said in a statement that it had held a meeting with stakeholders to discuss drug shortages and potential solutions.
A FDA spokeswoman said that the report is scheduled to be released in the coming months but did not provide additional information.
“There is no quick solution that solves this critical public health issue; addressing it will require a multifaceted approach,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg and Assistant Secretary for Health Howard Koh in the statement. “FDA plays a unique role in responding to and helping to prevent drug shortages.”
This year, there have been 198 reported drug shortages as of Aug. 25, compared with 211 for the full year of 2010, according to the University of Utah Drug Information Service. Some of the drugs in short supply include cancer drugs and anesthesia drugs.
Manufacturer consolidation and quality issues have been cited as two factors that have contributed to the shortages. Some companies that no longer manufacture less-profitable drugs are another cause.
The statement said that one solution would be requiring manufacturers to report upcoming supply disruptions and discontinuations. HHS also said that the FDA currently is speeding up requests for new manufacturing sites, production lines and raw material suppliers.
An FDA hearing on drug shortages is scheduled for Sept. 26.
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