HDA Responds to the FTC/HHS Request for Information on Drug Shortages

May 30, 2024

The Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA) today submitted comments to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in response to the agencies’ joint Request for Information (RFI) on “Solicitation for Public Comment to Understand Lack of Competition and Contracting Practices that May be Contributing to Drug Shortages.” In the letter, HDA concludes: 

“The nation’s pharmaceutical distributors all share an important role: helping patients get the medications needed for their care. They do this by managing the flow of products between suppliers and healthcare providers, following strict regulations and sourcing the medicines customers require. Distributors are also actively involved in finding strategies to mitigate drug shortages. However, it is important to understand that the root causes of these shortages lie outside distributors' control due to supply-side and demand-side reasons. These challenges can include quality control issues, demand surges, reimbursement challenges and economic behavior specific to the generic market.

"Healthcare distributors have a vested interest in a diverse, dependable and resilient generic medicine marketplace, and they recognize the need for affordable generic medicines for American patients. HDA continues to advance approaches, such as those outlined in our guiding principles and policy agenda, where supply chain stakeholders and the government can work together to address drug shortages. These approaches include strengthening partnerships between the public and private sectors, identifying strategic federal investments in domestic manufacturing capabilities and taking steps to support generic manufacturer partners in ensuring stable supply. HDA and our healthcare distributor members stand ready to support realistic and meaningful solutions to these challenges, with the help of our public and private partners.”

Read HDA’s letter here.

Background Materials
“Problem Solvers” ad and "Health Delivered: Stronger" webpage
“The Rx for Drug Shortages? A Better Understanding of the Supply Chain and Collaborative Solutions”
HDA Policy Agenda on Drug Shortages
HDA Guiding Principles for Drug Shortages
Fact Sheet: Understanding Supply-Driven Shortages
Fact Sheet: Understanding Demand-Driven Drug Shortages
Fact Sheet: Drug Shortages: What Are They and How Do They Differ?
HDA Response to the Senate Finance Committee’s Draft Drug Shortage Prevention and Mitigation Program

About HDA

The Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA) represents primary pharmaceutical distributors — the vital link between the nation’s pharmaceutical manufacturers and pharmacies, hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics and others nationwide. Since 1876, HDA has helped members navigate regulations and innovations to get the right medicines to the right patients at the right time, safely and efficiently. The HDA Research Foundation, HDA’s nonprofit charitable foundation, serves the healthcare industry by providing research and education focused on priority healthcare supply chain issues.