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Drug Shortages Even Worse This Year: FDA
Date:10/1/2011

are unforeseeable.

"There were several potential shortages due to the Japan earthquake," Jensen said. Several firms lost suppliers, but the FDA was able to quickly qualify other suppliers and avert any actual shortages, she said.

The FDA has very limited authority to combat shortages, and it cannot tell a company how much of a medication to produce. Although it requires sole producers of a drug to inform the agency if they're going to discontinue it, there is no penalty if firms don't report to the agency.

More information

For more on drug shortages, visit the U. S. Food and Drug Administration.

SOURCES: Jay Brooks, M.D., chairman of hematology/oncology, Ochsner Health System, Baton Rouge, La.; Sept. 30, 2011, teleconference with Valerie Jensen, R.Ph., associate director, Drug Shortage Program, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, U.S. Food and Drug Administration


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