Congress OKs Plan to Combat Drug Shortages

As part of what probably will be the only major piece of health care legislation to get through Congress in a heated election year, House and Senate lawmakers in late June approved a plan to mandate early warnings from drugmakers about possible shortages of crucial medications.

The final bill to reauthorize the Prescription Drug User Fee Act, which contained the shortage provisions, largely satisfied members of organized medicine. Some physician organizations, however, had been pressing Congress to adopt stricter enforcement language and include biologic drugs in the early notification system that would alert federal officials of potential shortages.

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