EMS Physicians Gather on Capitol Hill to Address Critical Drug Shortages
Apr. 16—Members of the National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP) gathered in Washington, D.C. last week to advocate for issues affecting quality out-of-hospital emergency medical care, including ongoing drug shortages affecting EMS providers.
Medical facilities across the country are currently experiencing shortages in powerful, injectable painkillers as well as other essential emergency medications needed by patients undergoing surgery, fighting cancer or suffering traumatic injuries. The shortage is due largely to manufacturing setbacks.
“Drug shortages impede our nation’s ability to prepare for and respond to public health emergencies,” said Brent Myers, NAEMSP president. “In a public health emergency, EMS providers must have resuscitative fluids, pain relief medications and drugs that facilitate airway management. Unfortunately, many of these life-saving medications continue to be in shortage, at times dangerously so.”
The group also discussed, at its annual Government Relations Academy (GRA) on Tuesday, April 10, the reauthorization of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA), which effectively addresses the development and maintenance of medical countermeasures to address chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats. NAEMSP plans to propose amendments to the reauthorization of PAHPA, designed to address drug shortages and the consequential gap in EMS services.
The GRA provides members with insight into the political system so that they may develop the skill set to be effective advocates in their local communities. Attendees also participated in National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) 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 healthcare advocate, most recently securing the passage of the Protecting Patient Access to Emergency Medications Act.