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Guthrie Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Prevent Drug Shortages

Washington, March 5, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Brett Guthrie (KY-02), along with Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52), Rep. Eliot Engel (NY-16), Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18), Rep. Richard Hudson (NC-08), Rep. Michael McCaul (TX-10), Rep. Kurt Schrader (OR-05), and Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-12), this week introduced the Preventing Drug Shortages Act, which would help address the critical issue of drug shortages that affect the quality of care patients receive across the country.

The introduction of the bill comes days after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the first U.S. drug shortage related to factory shutdowns and shipping problems in China due to the recent Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.

“Whether it is an outbreak like the coronavirus, a natural disaster, or any number of possible interruptions to our drug supply chain, we need to ensure that Americans have access to lifesaving drugs at any time,” said Rep. Guthrie. “The Preventing Drug Shortages Act will increase transparency in our drug supply chain so we can better identify where our system can be improved. I want to thank Reps. Peters, Engel, Hudson, Eshoo, McCaul, Schrader, and Bilirakis for joining with me in introducing this bipartisan, commonsense legislation.”

According to the FDA, in recent years drug shortages have steadily increased, and supply chains may become further stressed by the challenges associated with the new coronavirus outbreak. Most drug shortages stem from a supply chain interruption, often created by natural disasters, over-reliance on foreign pharmaceutical products, or manufacturing and distribution problems. These shortages threaten the adequate delivery of first-rate patient care, as deficiencies of drugs commonly used by hospitals to treat acute conditions, including bacterial infections and cancer treatment, can severely limit Americans’ access to lifesaving medicines.

The Preventing Drug Shortages Act would help mitigate these shortage triggers by enhancing transparency throughout the drug supply chain process and strengthening FDA interagency efforts to fend off drug shortages. The bill would also empower the FDA to enforce greater reporting standards on drug and active pharmaceutical ingredient makers to identify and correct vulnerabilities in their supply chains.