HHS Proposes Incentives to Address Drug Shortages

In a press release dated April 2, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the launch of a White paper noble Policy considerations to prevent drug shortages and mitigate supply chain vulnerabilities in the United States. The document outlines steps HHS has taken to prevent drug shortages. Additionally, the document highlights solutions for policymakers.

“Hospitals can spend at least $600 million annually to manage shortages,” the white paper reads. Shortages of life-saving medications are a concern for patient care, health and safety. According to HHS, there have been shortages of 123 medications as of January.

A new coordinator role has been established to help HHS implement strategies to improve supply chain resilience. HHS also proposes a Hospital Resilient Supply Program (HRSP). According to the white paper, “the HRSP would establish financial incentives and/or penalties for hospitals based on a combination of meeting certain requirements and performance on a hospital scorecard.”

HHS writes that a Manufacturing Resilience Assessment Program (MRAP) could measure the resilience of manufacturers and provide transparency to the prescription drug supplier base, further addressing supply chain issues.

“Across our Department, we are working to ensure that millions of Americans have access to medicines, treatments and services that save lives and improve health outcomes. That’s why it’s so important to move forward and implement solutions to the nation’s drug shortages, and why we want members of Congress and all players in the supply chain to consider and act on the policy options presented in today’s white paper. “HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement.

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