October 30, 2019

Cassidy, Murphy Applaud FDA Recommendations to Tackle Drug Shortages in Response to Their Request

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Chris Murphy (D-CT), both members of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, on Wednesday released the following statement after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued their report“Drug Shortages: Root Causes and Potential Solutions.” 

This report was issued in response to a request from Cassidy and Murphy for the FDA to examine the root causes of drug shortages and recommendations the government can take to prevent and mitigate future drug shortages.

“Drug shortages continue to be a problem for patients. I thank FDA for identifying the regulatory and market issues causing shortages. Now Congress must work with FDA to address,” said Dr. Cassidy. 

“This is welcome news. Drug shortages continue to be a problem in Connecticut and pose a threat to the long term stability of our health care system. I’ve been laser-focused on making sure that people have access to the medication they need and I’m looking forward to finding ways we can work with this administration to mitigate these risks. I’m happy that the FDA heeded our call and is taking this seriously,” said Murphy.

The FDA’s report identifies three root causes of drug shortages:

  • Lack of incentives for manufacturers to produce less profitable drugs;
  • Insufficient information that rewards good manufacturing practices; and
  • Logistical and regulatory challenges make it difficult for the market to recover from a disruption.

Last year, Murphy and Cassidy led 29 of their colleagues in sending a letter to then-Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. requesting the FDA work with stakeholders and federal agencies to determine the root causes of the nationwide drug shortages by the end of 2019. In response to their letter, the FDA announced they were forming a task force focused on drug shortages.