FDA Lists 124 Medications in Short Supply in Biden’s America

As the economy and our supply chains continue to grind to a halt during the administration of President Joe Biden, the next shoe to drop is hitting the drug industry.

According to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration listing, 124 medications were suffering from short supplies as of Monday morning,

From drugs as basic as Tylenol to more serious medications for cancer treatments, a growing number of medicines are getting harder to come by in the U.S., KING-TV in Seattle reported Friday — and there is no cure in sight to these mounting shortages.

Drugs are not the only shortage we are experiencing as a nation, of course. We have seen shortages of toilet paper, furniture, toys, electronics, food, baby formula and more. Consumers are already getting worried that Christmas presents won’t arrive in time, and families facing higher prices for basic goods at the grocery store are struggling to make ends meet under the inflation that has marked Biden’s presidency.

But as KING noted, the drug shortage can be debilitating and even life-threatening for millions.

The report said the daughter of one of the station’s employees had been waiting more than a week for her Adderall refill to fight her narcolepsy.

It said Adderall is “one of the scarcest medications in America right now,” so patients are forced to ration their use for the small supplies they can get.

Drug shortages are affecting people with a wide range of diseases and conditions.

“Medications used to treat cancer are running low. The rise in RSV with children, along with a return of the flu have parents struggling to find Amoxicillin, Tamiflu and Albuterol. Anesthetics like Lidocaine are scarce. Ativan used to control seizures and anxiety is hard to come by. Even everyday, over-the-counter (OTC) treatments such as Tylenol are increasingly tough to find,” KING reported.

Steve Fijalka, chief pharmacy officer for University of Washington Medicine, said he worried that the U.S. does not have an adequate drug manufacturing sector.

“Sometimes it’s raw materials. Sometimes it’s a business decision. Some of these medications just aren’t worth it for certain companies to make anymore,” Fijalka told KING. “There are manufacturing issues. We don’t have that many manufacturing plants in the U.S.”

The FDA’s website has a notification about shortages of medications related to COVID-19.

“The FDA continues to take steps to monitor the supply chain. The Drug Shortage Staff within the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) has asked manufacturers to evaluate their entire supply chain, including active pharmaceutical ingredients, finished dose forms, and any components that may be impacted in any area of the supply chain due to the COVID-19 outbreak,” it said.

The FDA said drug shortages “can occur for many reasons, including manufacturing and quality problems, delays, and discontinuations. Manufacturers provide FDA most drug shortage information, and the agency works closely with them to prevent or reduce the impact of shortages.”

In February 2021, the Biden administration attempted to address the supply chain disruptions hurting the country with Executive Order 14017.

“The Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the heads of appropriate agencies, shall submit a report identifying risks in the supply chain for pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients and policy recommendations to address these risks,” it said.

In a follow-up move in June 2021, the White House announced a plan to create “a public-private consortium for advanced manufacturing and onshoring of domestic essential medicines production. The consortium’s first task will be to select 50-100 critical drugs, drawn from the Food and Drug Administration’s essential medicines list, to be the focus of an enhanced onshoring effort.”

The administration committed $60 million to research new technologies to boost domestic production of active pharmaceutical ingredients.

Part of the problem is the large role Chinese pharmaceutical companies play in the U.S. drug supply. The Trump administration raised the alarm about this problem and warned that too much of our drug manufacturing had been outsourced to China.

According to a report by The Pharma Letter in March 2020, at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic, China “accounted for 95% of U.S. imports of ibuprofen, 91% of U.S. imports of hydrocortisone, 70% of U.S. imports of acetaminophen, 40% to 45% of U.S. imports of penicillin and 40% of U.S. imports of heparin, according to Commerce Department data. In all, 80% of the US supply of antibiotics are made” in China.

Penicillin, for instance, was no longer manufactured in the U.S. at the time, a fact that pharma expert Rosemary Gibson called “an epic blunder.”

“And now we’ve got a perfect storm of a production shutdown in China and a disease outbreak there, where they need medicines for their own people, coupled with rising global demand on that same global supply source,” Gibson told The Washington Times. “This is a wake-up call.”

Fortunately, that changed with the reopening of a USAntibiotics plant in Tennessee last year.

Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher and several Republican lawmakers want to see more done to ensure the U.S. drug supply. In March, they introduced the Protecting our Pharmaceutical Supply Chain from China Act, which would end U.S. dependence on China for pharmaceutical manufacturing.

“The Chinese Communist Party has threatened to withhold lifesaving drugs from the U.S. once and we’d be crazy to think they won’t attempt to do so again,” Gallagher said. “Congress needs an aggressive plan to protect our critical pharmaceutical supply chains and end our reliance on China.

“This is a national security imperative and to many Americans, a matter of life and death.”

He is right. America needs to cut its dependency on China, not just for lifesaving drugs but for everything else, too. China is not our friend.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.