On September 5 and 6, ASA President James Grant, M.D., M.B.A., FASA participated in a forum hosted by the National Academy of the Sciences, Engineering and Medicine in Washington, D.C., on “Medical Product Shortages during Disasters: Opportunities to Predict, Prevent, and Respond.”
The forum arose from a request from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response to the National Academies to appoint an ad hoc committee to explore drug shortages, including subsequent product inventory conservation efforts on patient health and to predict, prevent, and respond to such future shortages in the United States. With the acknowledgement that there is lack of an organized effort to identify, assess, and categorize pertinent data on medical product shortages in routine situations, as well as shortages occurring during or because of disasters, the National Academies convened this workshop of key stakeholders to discuss these challenges and explore workable solutions.
The two-day long forum included multiple sessions on issues around drug shortages and ways that they can be addressed. Dr. Grant’s remarks focused on how drug shortages impact patients and the daily practices of physicians. ASA was applauded multiple times during the event for its leading role in addressing this critical issue, including ASA’s member survey, Drug Shortage Registry and the upcoming drug shortages summit occurring in late September, which will convene national stakeholders to discuss this issue in light of national security implications and what it means to health care infrastructure.
The National Academies will release proceedings from the meeting at a future date. The proceedings will include evidence-based causes and effects of drug shortages; innovative approaches to better predict, prevent and respond to shortages; and strategies to ensure public health and health care providers can provide high-quality patient care during shortages. Additionally, the Academies are expected to address and research needs and opportunities to provide public-health officials and the public with accurate information to support policymaking and decision-making to improve patient care.