EMS Physicians Address Ongoing Critical Drug Shortages in DC Hill Day​

April 23, 2019

National Association of EMS Physicians® (NAEMSP®) members joined other EMS professionals on Capitol Hill last week to advocate for issues affecting quality prehospital patient care. Drug shortages again emerged as a top concern, as emergency medical facilities across the country are forced to severely restrict use of certain IV fluids, anti-nausea medications, airway management medications and other essential emergency medications (EEMs), many of which have no suitable substitute.
Of the 176 EMS physician medical directors who responded to a survey NAEMSP conducted during its annual meeting in January 2019, 97% reported experiencing an EEM shortage in the past six months and 95% reported the shortages to be consistent or cyclical. These drug shortages have serious and adverse impacts on EMS patients, greatly increasing the risk of medication errors in a fast-paced environment in which time is of the essence for patients.
“We appreciate FDA’s notable efforts over the past several years in response to this issue, but unfortunately the situation remains dire for many patients not receiving the medications they need when they need them,” said NAEMSP President David K. Tan, MD, EMT-T, FAAEM, FAEMS. “We look forward to working with our federal, regional, state and local partners toward a long-term solution that ensures a stable, sufficient and redundant supply of these essential medications.”
At its annual Government Relations Academy on Tuesday, April 9, NAEMSP also reiterated its support for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation’s new ET3 Emergency Triage, Treat and Transport Model and discussed ways to facilitate efficient implementation of the demonstration project. The Government Relations Academy provides NAEMSP members with insight into the political system so they can be effective advocates in their local communities and at the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians’ EMS on the Hill Day.
NAEMSP is comprised of physicians and EMS professionals dedicated to providing leadership and fostering excellence in the subspecialty of EMS medicine and out-of-hospital care. NAEMSP is a leading healthcare advocate, most recently securing the passage of the Protecting Patient Access to Emergency Medications Act.

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