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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Your Health

Obama Takes Action Against Rx Drug Shortages

President Obama signed an Executive Order Monday against perscription drug shortages.

President Obama is stepping up to sign an Executive Order to help fight America’s ever growing battle with Rx drug shortages.  Every day thousands of patients with cancer, life-threatening infections, illnesses and diseases aren't able to get the prescriptions they need.

Doctors, nurses and pharmacists have no choice but to give them a “plan b” medication if their Rx drug of choice is not available. The shortages are causing "price gouging" among pharmacies and sometimes the patients aren't even aware of these changes.

"The shortage of prescription drugs drives up costs, leaves consumers vulnerable to price gouging and threatens our health and safety,” said President Obama. “This is a problem we can't wait to fix. That’s why today I am directing my administration to take steps to protect consumers from drug shortages, and I’m committed to working with Congress and the industry to keep tacking this problem going forward."

The President’s order has three main elements:

  1. The Food and Drug Administration will have to expand its requirements for drug manufacturers to report any potential Rx supply problems.
  2. The FDA will have to speed up their reviews on manufacturers or will have to make a change to the production of a drug that is in potentially short supply.
  3. The FDA will have to report to the Justice Department if they hear anything about drug distributors taking advantage of Rx shortages and/or “price gouging”.

The White House Administration says that although the causes of many of these solutions are out of the FDA’s hands, they will not stop trying to make a difference.

“The Administration [FDA] will continue its ongoing work with manufacturers and other stakeholders to help address drug shortages,” Obama said.

COMMENTS

That's true. I read the report here: Obama signs executive order to address drug shortages. The rising issue, said the president, is hazardous for patients and opens the door to price gouging. This executive action is part of Obama's health care plan. Congressional Republicans say the effort is mere campaign talk.

"He signed an order against prescription drug shortages?"

While he's at it, can he sign an order against crime and poverty? Or against cancer? Yes, cancer, that's a good one to be against.

Come on, guys!

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