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Markey, Klobuchar, Cassidy, Brown Urge Biden Administration to Address Amoxicillin Shortage

Government and Politics

November 25, 2022


Washington (November 25, 2022) — Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) urged the Biden administration to address the ongoing shortage of amoxicillin, a widely-used antibiotic for bacterial and respiratory illnesses. The senators highlighted how these shortages are adversely impacting providers and patients by leading to delays in health care services.

“We write to express our strong concern regarding the shortage of amoxicillin and the serious threat that this and other medical shortages pose to our nation’s patients and public health,” the senators wrote to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Robert Califf, MD. “The record high levels of respiratory illnesses have spiked demand for amoxicillin and other essential medicines, and patients and providers continue to experience disruptive shortages, which have led to delays in care and compromised health outcomes.”

“We urge the Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to convene the Drug Shortage Task Force and work with stakeholders, including providers, on identifying factors and potential solutions to mitigating the amoxicillin shortage. Further, we request an update on FDA initiatives to prevent and mitigate drug  shortages,” the senators continued.

Full text of the letter is available below:

Dear Secretary Becerra and Commissioner Califf:

We write to express our strong concern regarding the shortage of amoxicillin and the serious threat that this and other medical shortages pose to our nation’s patients and public health.  Parents, patients, and health providers across the country have shared how this shortage has adversely impacted patient care.

As you know, amoxicillin is used to treat bacterial infections, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends its use as a “first line therapy” for multiple pediatric illnesses. The record high levels of respiratory illnesses have spiked demand for amoxicillin and other essential medicines, and patients and providers continue to experience disruptive shortages, which have led to delays in care and compromised health outcomes.

We urge the Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to convene the Drug Shortage Task Force and work with stakeholders, including providers, on identifying factors and potential solutions to mitigating the amoxicillin shortage. Further, we request an update on FDA initiatives to prevent and mitigate drug  shortages.

We look forward to working with the Department and its agencies in continuing to address medical shortages as the manufacturing and health care landscape evolve.