WASHINGTON — Children’s medications, antibiotics and ADHD treatment are among a host of drugs that have been in short supply in recent months, and these critical drug shortages are only increasing, according to a new report to be released Wednesday.

From 2021 to 2022, the shortage of new drugs increased by nearly 30%, according to the report prepared by Democrats in the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.

«This shortage, which reached a peak shortage of 295 individual medicines at the end of 2022, has left healthcare professionals grappling with limited resources to treat patients in need,» the committee chair is expected to say, Gary Peters, D-Mich. in his opening remarks at a hearing highlighting the report’s findings on Wednesday.

The shortages have been caused by economic factors, reliance on foreign sources and poor visibility of the pharmaceutical supply chain, according to the report.

«Taken together, these underlying causes not only present serious concerns about the provision of adequate care to patients, but also pose serious national security risks,» Peters will say, according to this prepared commentary. Wednesday’s hearing is scheduled for 10:30 am ET.

The committee’s report highlights that neither the federal government nor the pharmaceutical industry have the ability to assess the entire supply chain, from starting materials to final dosage and buyers and suppliers. Many drugmakers have moved abroad in recent decades because foreign governments have offered tax and logistics incentives, as well as fewer regulations, according to the report.

According to the report, more than 15 basic intensive care medicines have suffered from shortages for more than a decade, and the majority are injectable medicines, which are more than twice as likely to experience shortages compared to other medicines taken orally or they are topics. Nearly a third of these critical medicines in short supply are antibiotics, which are used to prevent and treat bacterial infections.

Propofol, a sterile injectable sedative that anesthesiologists often give to patients before surgery, is currently in short supply and «has been in short supply» for the past 15 years, according to the report. This was the result of manufacturing delays, companies leaving the market, and unprecedented demand during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Part of the problem is that between 90% and 95% of sterile injectable generic drugs rely on starting materials from China and India, according to the report, citing the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response, a federal agency.

In his opening remarks, Peters is expected to say that America’s overreliance on foreign suppliers, especially those from China, «remains an unacceptable risk to national security.»

This drug shortage has led to delays in treating patients, providers turning to sometimes less effective substitute treatments, and medication errors. Some patients, including those with cancer, have faced a lack of alternative medications.

Peters cautions that due to the federal government’s lack of supply chain oversight and limited data sharing between the government and the pharmaceutical industry, agencies like the Food and Drug Administration cannot adequately predict drug shortages.

The committee recommends that Congress require the departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services to conduct supply chain risk assessments for drug shortages and identify potential national security issues.

Peters is working on legislation to make other recommendations in the report a reality. These include investing in domestic manufacturing, requiring manufacturers to report increased demand or export restrictions, and encouraging the FDA to develop a database that would make it easier for the agency to track materials used in processing. of the supply chain.

Por admin