On Tuesday, Governor Kristi Noem led ten of her fellow Republican governors in urging Congress to address the nationwide shortage of prescription drugs. Governor Noem and her colleagues submitted a letter to leadership in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. The letter was addressed to Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
“A widespread and long-lasting shortage of critical drugs has been impacting the United States of America for years,” wrote Governor Noem and her colleagues. “Many of the most used prescription drugs in the country are facing extensive shortages – drugs like albuterol, amoxicillin, and chemotherapy drugs…To create real change, the states need Washington to take action.”
Governor Noem and her fellow Republican governors call on Congress to consider adding the following important policy solutions to any upcoming legislation aimed at addressing drug shortages:
- Transparency in the pharmaceutical manufacturing chain from sourcing raw materials to the finished product, including country of origin labeling;
- Increased diversity in the manufacturing of generic medications with regards to both raw materials and final manufacturing;
- Require transparency from the FDA related to shortages and events that cause supply disruption;
- Extending useful life of medications when appropriate by re-examining FDA guidance related to expiration dates;
- Waivers to allow purchasing of medications from Canada to expand our supply chain capability quickly;
- Creation of a regulatory environment that is more favorable to U.S. manufacturing to include instituting shorter “cure periods” for U.S. manufacturing plants; and,
- Requiring a risk assessment of foreign source active pharmaceutical ingredients.
“Congress needs to improve the inspection process for manufacturers to decrease the risk that everyday Americans are currently facing,” continued Governor Noem and her colleagues. “These practical steps toward greater transparency and flexibility will ensure safety and dependability in our pharmaceutical supply chain.”
Governor Noem has been a leader in combatting the shortage of prescription drugs. In May, Governor Noem signed Executive Order 2023-07, which required the South Dakota Department of Health (DOH) to investigate the cause of the prescription drug shortage and recommend action to be taken back to the governor. With the results of that study, Governor Noem announced that DOH will be expanding its medical caches to help combat the shortage of prescription drugs in July.
The following Republican governors joined Governor Noem in signing the letter: Arkansas Governor Sarah Sanders, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves, Missouri Governor Mike Parson, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte, Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, and Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon.