Health Groups Make Recommendations to Strengthen the U.S. Drug Supply Chain During the Pandemic and Beyond

December 21, 2021

The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO)—along with the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), and the United States Pharmacopeia (USP)—released a series of policy and marketplace recommendations to address the significant challenges in our nation's drug supply chain, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"COVID-19 has magnified the dangers inherent in failing to address gaps and deficiencies in the pharmaceutical and medical supply chains. Supply chain disruptions can adversely impact patient care by delaying treatment or requiring patients to switch to less effective treatment regimens. Policymakers must do more to ensure a consistently safe, effective, and uninterrupted supply of quality medicines for patients in this country," the groups said in a news release.

The groups are asking policymakers to implement a range of legislative and regulatory actions, including:

  • Incentivize the development and use of advanced manufacturing technology and develop new continuous manufacturing technology for critical drugs and active pharmaceutical ingredients – recommendations include adopting and implementing technologies in domestic and foreign manufacturing facilities.
  • Improve the function, composition, and accessibility of the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile during public health emergencies.
  • Improve international cooperation and collaboration with foreign supply chain partners, including but not limited to foreign governments and manufacturers.

The organizations have long collaborated on recommendations to improve the U.S. supply chain and mitigate drug shortages. For example, the groups participated in a July 2020 summit that examined the resilience of the U.S. pharmaceutical supply chain in light of the state of global pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Read the full report "Improving the Quality and Resilience of the United States Health Care Supply Chain."

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