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House Passes Rep. Krishnamoorthi’s Bipartisan Amendment Requiring a Pentagon Study of Medication Shortages in Wake of Damage to Puerto Rican Pharmaceutical Facilities

May 24, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Yesterday, the US House of Representative passed a bipartisan amendment introduced by Congressmen Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) and Andy Barr (R-KY) to require the Department of Defense to conduct a study on the extent of pharmaceutical shortages in the military health and TRICARE system.  The purpose of this study would be to shed light on whether quality of care in military surgical and emergency situations has been compromised because of shortages in anesthetics and pain management medications. The study would also examine potential supply chain challenges resulting from damage caused by Hurricane Maria to pharmaceutical facilities in Puerto Rico, which produced 10 percent of the nation’s pharmaceuticals.

“Beyond the direct devastation Hurricane Maria wreaked upon the people and island of Puerto Rico, it also devastated the island’s pharmaceutical industry and drastically reduced our national supplies,” said Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi. “We need to know just how much these drug shortages, particularly of anesthetics and pain management drugs, impact doctors and the quality of the care they’re able to provide to their patients.”

“Through passing Congressman Barr’s and my amendment, the House has taken a major step toward assessing the full impact of these shortages in the military and TRICARE health systems which will not only pave the way to addressing these challenges for servicemembers and their families, but also for every other American.”