Congress Examines Options To Improve Availability Of Prescription Drugs
CQ HealthBeat: Lawmakers Look At Economic Incentives To Remedy Drug Shortages
Shortages of prescription drugs are leaving a growing number of patients waiting for life-saving medicines. Federal officials say the number of prescriptions in short supply tripled from 2005 to 2010. Limited supplies of some drugs have sent prices soaring 1,000 times above normal. President Obama took a step last week toward trying to solve the problem with an executive order that encourages, though does not require, pharmaceutical companies to alert the Food and Drug Administration about challenges likely to lead to a shortage. He also directed the Justice Department to look for potential price-gouging (Adams, 11/4).