Critical Drug Shortages Reaching Crisis

Critical Drug Shortages Reaching Crisis

April 11, 2012
Originally published in Heartlander (Heartland Institute)

From Ashley Bateman's article on Heartland.org:

But according to Greg Conko, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, more mandates on companies to notify the FDA would be of little help.

“To some extent, these measures may help, but the FDA has taken some modest steps on its own to address some of the most problematic shortages. And nothing in the legislation is likely to change the fundamental nature of how the agency operates. Nor would any of the bills address the fundamental underlying economic considerations that are the primary cause of the shortages,” Conko said.

Conko says delays in the FDA’s approval process and overly strict regulation of drug manufacturing facilities are the primary culprits for drug shortages.

“Drug shortages are a real problem. But the way to alleviate them is not to eliminate the market signals that incentivize adequate production,” said Conko. “In the end, we would be better off if Congress did nothing at all. Better still, though, would be for Congress to lift the rules that have contributed to the shortages in the first place.”