Sens. Klobuchar, Collins push drug-shortage bill

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)

U.S. senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Susan Collins (R-ME) are urging their fellow lawmakers to quickly pass a bipartisan bill aimed at addressing the growing drug shortage problem in the U.S.

“The shortages of these vital drugs are causing serious problems around the country,” said Collins in a statement. “Our legislation aims to give the FDA the tools and information they need to prevent drug shortages.”

The Preserving Access to Life-Saving Medications Act, which  Klobuchar introduced  last year, would require drug companies to give  FDA six months notice of any discontinuance, interruption, or other adjustment of a drug's manufacturing process that would likely result in a shortage. Notification would be required for adjustments related to raw materials supply, production capabilities and other reasons deemed appropriate by the HHS secretary.

A stakeholders group has called for exploring incentives such as tax credits for producing critical drug products or upgrading manufacturing plants. They also recommend an expedited approval pathway.

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