”]President Obama on Oct. 31 issued an executive order to address the growing problem of prescription drug shortages. The order requires the Food and Drug Administration to:

  • Require drug manufacturers to provide advance notice when they discontinue producing drugs that support or sustain life, or that prevent debilitating disease.
  • Expedite regulatory reviews of new drug suppliers, manufacturing sites and manufacturing changes when these actions would help mitigate or prevent drug shortages. The FDA should consider when implementing these expedited reviews both the severity of the shortages and the importance of the drugs for public health.
  • Submit to the Dept. of Justice any findings that shortages led drug distributors to stockpile affected drugs and charge exorbitant prices for the supply. The Justice Dept. would determine if these activities violate law and undertake any necessary further action.

Source: Executive Order: Reducing Prescription Drug Shortages, White House, Oct. 31 (www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/10/31/executive-order-reducing-prescription-drug-shortages)