July 2012

CHI-Supported Drug Shortage Bill Signed

Two years ago, CHI pharmacy leaders began an advocacy campaign to encourage support for legislation expanding the authority of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to address critical drug shortages. On July 9, President Obama signed this legislation into law.

In collaboration with the Advocacy Group, CHI pharmacy leaders made numerous congressional contacts and provided input for development of both the House and Senate bills and the final conference report that reconciled differences between the two bills. Many CHI-recommended provisions were included in the final bill.

The Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act:

  • Requires drug manufacturers to report production interruptions and discontinuations in advance.
  • Gives the FDA authority to speed approval of applications to make drugs in short supply.
  • Lifts caps on narcotic ingredients to ensure sufficient supply for anesthesia, pain management and other critical uses.
  • Improves communications with providers and patients about the reasons for and length of potential drug shortages.

The law also allows hospitals within health systems to conserve their inventory of shortage drugs by repackaging them to share with other hospitals within the system.

For more information, contact Marcia Desmond, vice president of public policy.