GPhA reveals the ARI to address drug shortages

Did you know there was a Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA)? Well, if you did you’re a step ahead of me because I’d never heard of them until today. According to the GPhA website they represent "the manufacturers and distributors of finished generic pharmaceutical products, manufacturers and distributors of bulk active pharmaceutical chemicals, and suppliers of other goods and services to the generic pharmaceutical industry. GPhA members manufacture the vast majority of all affordable pharmaceuticals dispensed in the United States. Our products are used in nearly two billion prescriptions every year."

Their Board of Director’s and Executive Committee is a who’s who of generic pharmaceutical manufacturers. Go figure.

Anyway, in a press release dated December 15 the GPhA announced an initiative to help with the drug shortage problem that’s been plaguing the healthcare industry for the better part of two years. According to the GPhA, the initiative, known as the Accelerated Recovery Initiative (ARI) "is predicated on voluntary communication between an independent third party and stakeholders involved in the manufacturing and distribution of generic injectable medications currently in shortage. It is designed to use real-time supply and distribution information to give stakeholders — including, but not limited to, manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, Group Purchasing Organizations (GPO’s) and the FDA — a better understanding of current conditions and expand the supply of critical medications to patients in need."

I have to give the GPhA credit for doing something positive to help with drug shortages. Someone would have forced them into doing something eventually, but it’s nice to see them take a proactive role nonetheless.

The Accelerated Recovery Initiative calls for:

  • An independent third party to gather current and future supply information from stakeholders for products identified as meeting the critical criteria;
  • That information to be used to determine current and potential supply gaps, with a focus on those products where a shortage is expected to last longer than 90 days; and
  • A high-level SWAT team to be formed within FDA with the ability to quickly respond to critical shortages and work with the current Drug Shortage Staff expanded through the President’s drug shortage initiative.

More information on the initiative can be found here.