The New York Times recently published an article titled “Drug Shortages Near an All-Time High, Leading to Rationing,” by Christina Jewett. The article discusses how the United States is grappling with a severe shortage of vital medications, leading to treatment delays and compromised patient care, particularly in cancer treatment.
Generic drug scarcity caught the attention of Congress and the White House, prompting urgent actions to address supply chain issues and find long-term solutions. Efforts are underway to investigate the causes, enhance transparency, explore tax incentives for manufacturers, and establish strategic partnerships. The article emphasizes the need for swift action to prevent further harm and ensure patient access to essential medications.
‘Laura Bray, Angels for Change Founder and Chief Change Maker, works as a liaison among patients, health systems and drug companies to “micro-source,” as she calls it, hard-to-find medications.
“Will we have the resolve and sense of urgency to fix this?’’ asked Ms. Bray, an adjunct business professor who has been providing information to the White House and Congress. “It’s possible. It can be done. It happens in other supply chains. But we have to focus on it and we have to think about ending it — instead of mitigating it. I think the jury’s out on that.” Laura Bray, founder and Chief Change Maker at Angels for Change recently spoke with Congress.
Challenges and Impacts
Hospitals are struggling with shortages of crucial medications, affecting cancer treatments, lead poisoning interventions, and bypass surgeries. Even commonly used drugs like antibiotics and children's Tylenol have experienced disruptions in supply. The opaque supply chain, manufacturing shutdowns, and financial issues have compounded the problem, requiring a thorough examination of the generic drug market.
The Biden administration has formed a dedicated team to address the drug shortage crisis and strengthen the pharmaceutical supply chain. Congress and the White House are considering tax incentives for generic drug manufacturers and increased transparency in drug quality. Efforts are underway to reduce reliance on foreign countries for drug ingredients.
Impact on Cancer Treatments
The scarcity of generic chemotherapy drugs used in treating various cancers has raised significant concerns. Delays in accessing these medications can have severe consequences for patients. Urgent action is needed to ensure access to first-line treatments and improve patient outcomes.
Path to Solutions
Measures to expedite generic drug approval, address economic challenges faced by the industry, and enhance quality control are being considered. Fagron Sterile Services US is proudly collaborating with organizations like Angels for Change and the End Drug Shortage Alliance to support a reliable supply of key medications through multi-supplier industry initiative.
This week Ms. Bray was the keynote speaker at the FSS National Sales meeting and spoke with the Commercial team about drug shortages in the US, Angels for Change, and the critical importance of collaboration to end drug shortages.
Read the full article on the New York Times website.
"Drug Shortages Near an All-Time High, Leading to Rationing." The New York Times, 17 May 2023, www.nytimes.com/2023/05/17/health/drug-shortages-cancer.html.
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