Congress Must Address Drug Shortages to Ensure Patient Access to Cancer Care

June 29, 2020

The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recently sent a letter to congressional leadership urging more action to address current drug shortages exacerbated by COVID-19 and to prevent future drug shortages. Specifically, ASCO encouraged Congress to take the following actions to help mitigate drug shortages:

  • Require that manufacturers be more transparent with the Food and Drug Administration about potential drug shortages
  • Require manufacturer transparency around their sources of raw material–such as active pharmaceutical ingredients (API)–including which state and country the API come from
  • Require manufacturers of critical medications and supplies to develop a reasonable contingency plan in the event of a production interruption or shut down
  • Create requirements for supply chain resiliency, including multiple manufacturing sites for important drugs and multiple suppliers of API for the same drug
  • Create incentives for manufacturers to increase production when drug shortages occur

ASCO applauds Congress for including important drug shortages policies from the MEDS Act in the CARES Act, however, more action needs to be taken to ensure that patients have access to potentially life-saving drugs at any point during their treatment cycle.

Read the full letter.

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