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Jared Moskowitz Calls on Biden to Use Defense Production Act to Solve Cancer Drug Shortage

U.S. Rep. Jared Moskowitz, D-Fla., is calling on the Biden administration to invoke the Defense Production Act (DPA) to help respond to the ongoing cancer drug shortage impacting millions of Americans across the country.

This call from Moskowitz comes as two of the most widely used cancer drugs, Carboplatin and Cisplatin, are in short supply amid one of the worst chemotherapy shortages in decades. Not only has this shortage forced clinics across the country to ration the lifesaving medicines, it has also forced clinics to make the impossible decision of providing therapies to the cases most likely to be cured.

In early 2022, Moskowitz lost his father to cancer. A copy of the letter Moskowitz sent to the White House urging them to immediately invoke the Defense Production Act to address this shortage is below.

Dear President Biden:

Losing a parent to cancer is the unfortunate reality I share with many Americans. I cannot fathom the anguish of families being told they cannot have or must delay treatment due to cancer drug shortages. Therefore, I write to express my grave concern about the nationwide shortages of cancer drugs, antibiotics, and other medications.

Drug shortages have remained a severe and persistent public issue for over ten years. According to the American Society for Health-System Pharmacists, various prevention and mitigation efforts have failed to resolve the problem, as evidenced by the more than 300 drugs currently on the list, the highest since 2014.

I urge you to invoke the Defense Production Act (DPA) to help address the shortage of cancer drugs. In response to the shortage of critical medical supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic, the DPA was invoked to ramp up domestic production of personal protective equipment, ventilators, testing supplies, and vaccines. As a result, patients and providers had access to the tools needed to save lives during the pandemic.

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It is unacceptable when people like my constituent, Carrie, from Coral Springs, are told they must wait three additional weeks for the drug to treat her breast cancer. It is unacceptable when doctors are forced to prescribe alternatives that might not be as effective. And it is unacceptable when there often aren’t alternatives for chemotherapy drugs.

These shortages have burdened health providers and negatively impacted patient care. While I understand that the White House has assembled a team to address the ongoing shortages, I firmly believe that more must be done. We must adequately address this nationwide shortage and find concrete ways to fix supply chain issues before it’s too late.

I appreciate your attention to these concerns on behalf of the families affected by cancer in my district and nationwide. I thank you for your time and consideration and look forward to a prompt response.

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