The American Hospital Association has responded to a recent request for comments from the Food and Drug Administration on its strategic plan for alleviating drug shortages.

The AHA understands it will take time for new FDA initiatives authorized in legislation enacted last year to show significant effect, but cautions that the shortage situation remains serious. “While the numbers of drugs newly in shortage began to decline in 2012, many of the existing shortages have not been resolved,” AHA notes in a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, M.D. “There were 299 active drug shortages in the last quarter of 2012, the highest quarterly number to date.”

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