Lawmakers say multiple solutions needed to address problems in drug supply chain.

WASHINGTON — Drug shortages continue to plague the U.S. and various solutions must be employed to address the problem, witnesses said Thursday during a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Departments’ Oversight and Investigative Subcommittees.

"According to the American Association of Health-System Pharmacists, we currently have shortages of more than 247 drugs. Between 2021 and 2022, drug shortages have increased nearly 30 percent," said committee chair Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) said in the opening statement. "It's unbelievable that there is a shortage of medicines for childhood cancer in this great country of ours. And this is just one example."

Rep. Kathy Custer (D-Fla.), the committee's ranking member, said children and their caregivers could be hit especially hard by the drug shortages. Children's Hospital "needs to invest additional staff time and resources in finding suitable alternatives and determining appropriate dosages for the alternatives... Children's Hospital needs 50% of the time to fill the bottlenecks at other hospitals because the alternatives take time to manufacture." in Pediatric Dosage Form. And the costs are so high -- drug shortages alone can cost children's hospitals more than $50,000 in labor and replacements. Therefore, we must anticipate these bottlenecks before they arise. "

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