Pitts Statement on Drug Shortages

November 1, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC - House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA) today released the following statement in response to President Obama's Executive Order to address the drug shortages crisis.
 
"I am bewildered as to how the administration can claim that they can't wait for Congress to address drug shortages since we have been anxiously awaiting a report promised by the administration at our hearing over a month ago," said Pitts. "The issue is complex and witnesses, including HHS, testified at our hearing that there are multiple causes and as a result, it will require multiple solutions. I am disappointed that the administration has spent more time strategizing a press rollout to politicize this deadly issue than working with Congress to resolve the problem."

On September 23, the Health Subcommittee held a hearing to examine the potential causes of drug shortages. Witnesses, including Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary of Health Howard Koh, pharmaceutical providers, health care providers, and other industry experts, testified that many factors contribute to drug shortages, and Chairman Pitts expressed his commitment to work together with all involved parties in a bipartisan manner to find solutions.

During the hearing, Dr. Koh promised to provide "a report which reflects the important analysis of the problem and recommendations with respect to its role." The committee has been awaiting the report's recommendation to determine the most effective solution. For that reason, it was a surprise to Congress when the White House this week decided to politicize the issue and opt for unilateral action rather than a comprehensive solution crafted with Congress. Nevertheless, Chairman Pitts and other members remain ready and willing to work with the administration to address this important issue.

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