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American Society of Hematology Statement on House Passage of Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA)
Date:5/31/2012

WASHINGTON, May 31, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today the House passed H.R. 5651, its version of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) legislation including important provisions to mitigate drug shortages, most notably mandating an early warning system for manufacturers. ASH is the world's largest professional society concerned with the causes and treatment of blood disorders, representing more than 14,000 members who specialize in blood cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma, as well as serious blood diseases such as hemophilia. The country's recent spate of shortages of more than 200 drugs has particularly affected ASH member hematologists and their patients because many of the drugs most vulnerable to shortages – older, generic sterile injectables – are used to treat blood disorders.

While ASH believes the House bill helps address drug shortages, the Society is concerned that it specifically exempts products derived from human plasma proteins and recombinant products replacing human tissue – products used for the treatment of hemophilia and other bleeding disorders – from the early reporting mandate in the legislation. ASH is currently working to ensure that human plasma protein derivatives and recombinant products are included in the final PDUFA legislation.

Over the past 18 months the Society has advocated for legislation to combat drug shortages.  ASH has made several recommenda     tions on ways to prevent and mitigate shortages, including to: increase FDA authority, require that the Secretary disseminate information about drug shortages to patient and provider organizations, enhance inter and intra agency coordination on drug shortages, require that the Agency Strategic Plan consider the impact of drug shortages on research and clinical trials, examine the impact of current FDA requirements on shortages, and provide economic incentives to manufacturers of critical drugs.
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SOURCE American Society of Hematology
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