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Political battle over US health care continues

It was not the end of the story when the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010. Its implementation is being fought every inch of the way; the Republican Party is split even though voter polls say 70% would scrap the whole Act or at least its central plank.

Drug shortages are persisting

The media are reporting continuing problems on drug shortages, and indeed a worsening situation around the world. Cancer drugs seem to be the most affected.

APPG reports on drug shortages and MHRA bans unlicensed stock trading

On 14 May 2012, the All-Party Pharmacy Group (APPG) published the results of its inquiry into drug shortages in the UK. In response to this the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has decided to ban unlicensed stock trading by pharmacists.

IMS Health enlisted as information provider for drug shortages

The Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA) announced on 19 April 2012 that it had selected IMS Health (IMS) to serve as the Independent Third Party in the Accelerated Recovery Initiative (ARI), providing information on generic drug shortages to FDA.

Also noted on pharma: 11 May 2012

UK government considers carrying out survey on drug shortages
The UK Department of Health (DoH) is considering a one-off survey of community pharmacies in England to assess the impact of drug shortages, Health Minister Simon Burns has confirmed. The move has followed requests from Ministers of Parliament (MPs) to carry out such a survey.

MP Irranca-Davies said, ‘in the meantime, I urge pharmacists and GPs to write to their MPs and demand that they lobby the health minister to carry out this research.’

The problem is far from being resolved, a Chemist+Druggist’s 2011 Stock Survey of pharmacies in the UK found that more than 140 pharmacists had seen a patient’s health suffer because of supply problems.

Related articles

UK drug shortages are far from being solved

UK drug shortages continue to affect pharmacists and patients

Members of parliament to hold inquiry into UK drug shortages

Source: Chemist+Druggist

FDA says efforts to prevent drug shortages are working

FDA Commissioner Ms Margaret Hamburg has reported that the FDA’s office of drug shortages has made progress in preventing drug shortages and working with industry to provide advanced warning when the agency is unable to prevent a shortage. In a posting on the agency’s FDA Voice Blog on 3 May 2012, Ms Hamburg said that she was ‘both amazed and delighted to see the progress that’s been made’.

Amgen enters biosimilars deal with PRA

Clinical Research Organisation (CRO) PRA announced on 26 April 2012 that it had entered into an agreement with US biotechnology giant Amgen as the sole provider of CRO services for ‘a series of phase III studies to develop several biosimilar drugs on a worldwide basis’.

CMS rules add to US drug shortages

Results of a survey carried out by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) and published on 22 March 2012 point to the fact that ‘too strict’ rules from the US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have led to waste of medications already in short supply.

Also noted on pharma: 13 April 2012

Drug shortages increase again in 2011
Despite efforts by FDA the number of drugs in short supply has increased again in 2011, according to data from the University of Utah, USA. Levels are more than 4.5 times higher than in 2004, when 58 drugs were reported to be in short supply, and have reached a new record high of 267 drugs experiencing shortages.

Related article

Record high drug shortages in the US

Source: The Washington Post

Also noted on pharma: 6 April 2012

MPs concerned over medicines shortages in UK
Nineteen UK Ministers of Parliament (MP) have now signed a Parliamentary motion demanding that the government holds ‘urgent discussions’ on the selling of UK medicines abroad, which according to many is only serving to exacerbate the current drug shortage situation in the UK.

Source: Chemist & Druggist

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