ASA Presents 6 Tactics to Relieve Drug Shortages

The American Society of Anesthesiologists recently sent a letter to the FDA that discussed the extent of anesthesia drug shortages and offered recommendations on actions to reduce shortages, according to an ASA release.

The letter, authored by ASA Vice President of Scientific Affairs Arnold J. Berry, MD, reported the results of the recent drug shortage survey of ASA members, which found that 90.4 percent of respondents were currently experiencing a drug shortage. Ninety-eight percent of respondents said they experienced a shortage of at least one anesthesia drug over the last year.

The ASA recommended that the FDA pursue six different actions to relieve shortages, including:

• Improve communication between supply chain stakeholders and patient care providers
• Work with provider groups to redefine whether specific drugs are deemed "medically necessary" by the FDA
• Establish drug shortage classification system to stratify expected duration and intensity of shortage
• Build collaboration with industry, DEA and FDA to establish a process that would more easily modify API quotes in response to drug shortages
• Establish an expedited approval pathway for unapproved drugs that are deemed critical therapies
• Incentivize manufacturing redundancies as part of the FDA drug approval process

Read the ASA letter to the FDA.

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