AMA delegates detail steps to confront national drug shortage emergency

New Orleans — The AMA House of Delegates said the rising number of critical drug shortages constitutes a “national public health emergency” that requires a swift and sophisticated response to address the complex roots of the crisis.

The tally of drugs classified as being in shortage by the Food and Drug Administration tripled from 61 in 2005 to 178 in 2010. Nearly three-quarters of the shortages involved sterile injectables, and 80% of the shortage drugs are generics. More than half of drug shortages are due to manufacturing quality problems, the FDA says.

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