21 U.S. Code § 356c - Discontinuance or interruption in the production of life-saving drugs
To the maximum extent practicable, the Secretary shall distribute, through such means as the Secretary deems appropriate, information on the discontinuation or interruption of the manufacture of the drugs described in subsection (a) to appropriate organizations, including physician, health provider, and patient organizations, as described in section 356e of this title.
Not later than 18 months after July 9, 2012, the Secretary shall adopt a final regulation implementing this section.
Such regulation shall define, for purposes of this section, the terms “life-supporting”, “life-sustaining”, and “intended for use in the prevention or treatment of a debilitating disease or condition”.
The Secretary may by regulation apply this section to biological products (as defined in section 262 of title 42), including plasma products derived from human plasma protein and their recombinant analogs, if the Secretary determines such inclusion would benefit the public health. Such regulation shall take into account any supply reporting programs and shall aim to reduce duplicative notification.
2012—Pub. L. 112–144 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section related to discontinuance of life saving products.
Ex. Ord. No. 13588, Oct. 31, 2011, 76 F.R. 68295, provided:
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:
For example, over approximately the last 5 years, data indicates that the use of sterile injectable cancer treatments has increased by about 20 percent, without a corresponding increase in production capacity. While manufacturers are currently in the process of expanding capacity, it may be several years before production capacity has been significantly increased. Interruptions in the supplies of these drugs endanger patient safety and burden doctors, hospitals, pharmacists, and patients. They also increase health care costs, particularly because some participants in the market may use shortages as opportunities to hoard scarce drugs or charge exorbitant prices.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the Department of Health and Human Services has been working diligently to address this problem through its existing regulatory framework. While the root problems and many of their solutions are outside of the FDA’s control, the agency has worked cooperatively with manufacturers to prevent or mitigate shortages by expediting review of certain regulatory submissions and adopting a flexible approach to drug manufacturing and importation regulations where appropriate. As a result, the FDA prevented 137 drug shortages in 2010 and 2011. Despite these successes, however, the problem of drug shortages has continued to grow.
Many different factors contribute to drug shortages, and solving this critical public health problem will require a multifaceted approach. An important factor in many of the recent shortages appears to be an increase in demand that exceeds current manufacturing capacity. While manufacturers are in the process of expanding capacity, one important step is ensuring that the FDA and the public receive adequate advance notice of shortages whenever possible. The FDA cannot begin to work with manufacturers or use the other tools at its disposal until it knows there is a potential problem. Similarly, early disclosure of a shortage can help hospitals, doctors, and patients make alternative arrangements before a shortage becomes a crisis. However, drug manufacturers have not consistently provided the FDA with adequate notice of potential shortages.
As part of my Administration’s broader effort to work with manufacturers, health care providers, and other stakeholders to prevent drug shortages, this order directs the FDA to take steps that will help to prevent and reduce current and future disruptions in the supply of lifesaving medicines.
(i) authority granted by law to an agency, or the head thereof; or
(ii) functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
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