AMSTERDAM, June 16, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Society of Hematology (ASH) joined the European Hematology Association (EHA) and the European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC) today in issuing a common call to action in an effort to mitigate shortages of hematologic drugs in the United States and around the world. The collective made the announcement today following the EHA-ASH Joint Symposium at the 17th EHA Congress in Amsterdam, a portion of which was dedicated to addressing the drug shortage crisis.

The common call to action seeks first to raise awareness of shortages of drugs among hematologists. Shortages of drugs worldwide have particularly affected ASH and EHA member hematologists and their patients since the drugs most vulnerable to shortages – older, generic sterile injectibles – are the ones used to treat blood disorders. At one point in 2011 more than 200 drugs were reported to be in shortage in the United States, several dozen of which had a critical impact on the delivery of care for patients with hematologic disorders.

The international collaborative will also collect data on current drug shortages and report it to their health authorities. ASH, EHA, and ECPC will issue reports to their respective government authorities about current drug shortages in an effort to bolster the supply of critically needed drugs in the most efficient, effective manner. For the past 18 months ASH has collected data on hematologic drug shortages in the United States, posted it to a special drug shortages portal on its website, and regularly reported data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Finally, the collaborative pledged to support legislation in the United States, Europe, and around the world that provides clear, effective interventions to alleviate drug shortages. In the United States, legislation that takes a first step toward addressing cu

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