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    A Different Slant on The "War" On Drugs
    Anon_57995 posted:
    Note: As part of the We Can't Wait initiative, President Obama signed an Executive Order directing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take action to help further prevent and reduce prescription drug shortages.

    An update from FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg is below.

    This week marks the six-month anniversary of President Obama signing an Executive Order to help FDA in our ongoing efforts to prevent and resolve prescription drug shortages.

    At FDA, we saw the Executive Order as an important step in bringing awareness to this critical public health issue and signaling the necessary tools and resources, such as early notification and additional staff, FDA must have to help address this problem.

    Following the Executive Order, we sent out letters to drug manufacturers asking them to voluntarily report to FDA if they saw the emerging potential for a drug shortage.

    Six months later, I am both amazed and delighted to see the progress that's been made.

    Early notification to FDA of potential disruptions in drug supply has made a huge difference in our efforts — and the numbers really tell the story.

    Since reaching out to industry, there has been a six-fold increase in early notifications from manufacturers.

    Also in that six month time frame, we have been able to prevent 128 drug shortages, and we're seeing fewer numbers of shortages occur — 42 new drugs in shortage reported in 2012, compared to 90 new shortages at this time last year.

    This data is a testament to how FDA exercises flexibility and discretion in much of our work on drug shortages and the importance of strong collaboration and constant communication with industry, health professionals, and patients.

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    ctbeth responded:

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