Press Release

Health Care Groups Recommend Long-Term Strategies to Ease Drug Shortages

Report from 2013 Summit Focuses on Strategies to Prevent Shortages


A group of health care organizations released a report evaluating and recommending long-term strategies addressing the ongoing drug shortages issue. The report, “2013 Drug Shortages Summit: Evaluating Long-Term Solutions,” summarizes the presentations, discussions and recommendations from the 2013 Summit, attended by more than 32 experts representing 18 stakeholder groups, including health care professionals and other non-profit organizations, industry, public interest, and government agencies.

This was the second Summit convened by the American Hospital Association, the American Society of Anesthesiologists, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices. The Summit report recommendations focus on the importance of strategies to prevent shortages and encourage cooperation across traditional boundaries in order to solve this public health crisis.

The report recommends using multiple strategies to address this complex issue.  Key recommendations for further exploration include:

  • Explore legislative options for incentives to prevent drug shortages, such as corporate tax credits and other incentives for manufacturers who maintain robust quality and facility maintenance programs.
  • Determine better methods of forecasting demand, including improved understanding of how variations in demand as well as planned temporary manufacturing reductions can affect shortages.
  • Enhance current Food and Drug Administration (FDA) efforts to analyze drug shortages data to spot trends and risk factors in order to better identify potential supply issues and resolve problems with manufacturers before a shortage occurs. This strategy aligns with a key recommendation from the recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, “GAO Report to Congressional Addressees on Drug Shortages: Public Health Threat Continues, Despite Efforts to Ensure Product Availability.”
  • Explore establishing a list of critical drugs, similar to the World Health Organization’s Model Lists of Essential Medicines, for prioritizing drug shortage resolution efforts.
  • Engage payers, including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, in exploring reimbursement-related factors affecting product availability and developing reimbursement-related solutions for drug shortages.
  • Accelerate and streamline the Drug Enforcement Agency’s controlled substance quota approval procedures.
Summit participants continue to explore these recommendations to prevent and mitigate drug shortages.

About the Co-Conveners
American Hospital Association
The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the improvement of health in their communities.  The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks and other providers of care.  Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends.  For more information visit the website at

Media Contact: Jennifer Schleman

The American Society of Anesthesiologists
Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is an educational, research and scientific society with more than 52,000 members organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology. ASA is committed to ensuring physician anesthesiologists evaluate and supervise the medical care of patients before, during and after surgery to provide the highest quality and safest care every patient deserves.
For more information on the field of anesthesiology, visit the ASA online at To learn more about the role physician anesthesiologists play in ensuring patient safety, visit Join the social conversation today. Like ASA on Facebook, follow ASALifeline on Twitter.

Media Contact: Theresa Hill
(847) 268-9246

American Society of Clinical Oncology
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is the world’s leading professional organization representing physicians who care for people with cancer. With more than 34,000 members, ASCO is committed to improving cancer care through scientific meetings, educational programs and peer-reviewed journals. For ASCO information and resources, visit Patient-oriented cancer information is available at www.Cancer.Net.
Media Contact: Aaron Tallent
(571) 483-1371
American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
ASHP is the national professional organization whose 40,000 members include pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and student pharmacists who provide patient care services in hospitals, health systems, and ambulatory clinics. For 70 years, the Society has been on the forefront of efforts to improve medication use and enhance patient safety. For more information about the wide array of ASHP activities and the many ways in which pharmacists help people make the best use of medicines, visit ASHP's website,, or its consumer website,
Media Contact: Ellen Wilcox
(301) 664-8799
Institute for Safe Medication Practices
ISMP is an independent, nonprofit charitable organization that works closely with healthcare practitioners and institutions, regulatory agencies, consumers, and professional organizations to provide education about medication errors and their prevention. ISMP represents more than 35 years of experience in helping healthcare practitioners keep patients safe, and continues to lead efforts to improve the medication use process. ISMP is a federally certified patient safety organization (PSO), providing healthcare practitioners and organizations with the highest level of legal protection and confidentiality for patient safety data and error reports they submit to the Institute. For more information on ISMP, or its medication safety alert newsletters and other tools for healthcare professionals and consumers, visit
Media Contact: Renee Brehio
(704) 831-8822


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