The American Nurses Association provides the following information received from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA):
Drug shortages have increased over the last few years, the federal Food and Drug Administration reports, causing health care professionals to consider identifying alternative medications to treat their patients, or delaying treatment.
The FDA encourages health care professionals to inform the agency when they become aware of a drug shortage. To report a drug shortage to FDA via e-mail, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The main reason for drug shortages is unanticipated manufacturing problems that affect product quality, the FDA says. Pharmaceutical firms’ decisions to discontinue marketing a product when newer drugs become available also contribute to shortages, among other reasons.
The FDA can take several actions to address drug shortages, including working with firms to increase production and identifying foreign versions of the product, with quality control mechanisms to ensure drug safety. Go to FDA web page dedicated to drug shortages: www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/DrugShortages/default.htm.