The Obama Administration will issue a final rule today to help mitigate critical drug shortages and hopefully give consumers a break on predatory price gouging, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said.
Under the new rule, drug manufacturers that produce “certain critical drugs” will be required to report any interruptions or delays in production to the FDA.
It’s good news for those of you dealing with chronic health conditions that require constant flows of medication. Any time there’s a shortage on widely-used drugs, companies are quick to start jacking up the asking price.
The number of prescription drug shortages tripled between 2005 and 2010, from 61 to 178, according to a Premier health care alliance report. And so-called “grey market” vendors are said to raise prices on average by as much as 650 per cent.
“Shortages delay or deny needed care for patients and FDA is committed to making sure that patients and health professionals have the drugs they need when they need them, said FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, M.D. “We will continue to take steps such as issuing this interim final rule to prevent and reduce current and future disruptions in the supply of lifesaving medicines.”
President Obama tasked the FDA with coming up with a better way of detecting and mitigating possible prescription drug shortages in an Oct. 31 executive order.
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