Andrew Shuman testified about the impact of national drug shortages on patient care and national security during a recent U.S. Senate Committee hearing.
On Wednesday, March 22, Andrew Shuman, M.D., associate professor of otolaryngology, testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. The hearing, titled “Drug Shortage Health and National Security Risks: Underlying Causes and Needed Reforms,” examined shortages in drugs used in hospitals and prescription and over-the-counter medications.
During his testimony, Shuman discussed his experiences dealing with drug shortages in his work and how they affected his patients. He explained the difficult decisions physicians and other medical professionals face when confronted with drug shortages. He noted that drug shortages impact almost every field of medicine and the disparities that exist between the differing ability of well-resourced hospitals and less-resourced hospitals to address these shortages. He noted one step for policymakers to consider is better information sharing and drug monitoring nationwide. Shuman also noted the national security implications of having many drugs produced overseas and the need to increase drug production domestically.
After the hearing, the committee issued a report detailing how worsening shortages of critical medication in the U.S. pose a national security problem and threaten healthcare providers’ ability to treat patients.
A recording of the hearing is available here. A copy of Shuman’s testimony is available here, and a report from the committee examining the issue of drug shortages is available here. A New York Times article about the hearing is available here.
Dr. Andrew Shuman speaks with Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Government Affairs