American Pharmacists Association Applauds FDA’s List of Essential Medicines and Medical Countermeasures

CONTACT: Frank Fortin

The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) today applauded the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s publication of a list of essential medicines, medical countermeasures, and critical inputs that are medically necessary to have available at all times in adequate amounts and dosage forms to serve patient needs. This is the first time FDA has published a list of this kind. FDA noted that this list is intended to ensure that the American public is protected against outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, as well as chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to be well-prepared for future public health emergencies, said Ilisa Bernstein, PharmD, JD, FAPhA, Senior Vice President for Pharmacy Practice and Government Affairs for APhA. “We applaud FDA’s identification of key essential medicines and medical countermeasures that should be ready and available for pharmacists to address patient needs. Drug supply disruptions and shortages cannot be tolerated, and this measure ensures critical continuity of care for our patients during urgent stress on the drug supply chain and health care system.” 

The essential medicines identified are those that are most needed for patients in U.S. acute care medical facilities, which specialize in short-term treatment for severe injuries or illnesses, and urgent medical conditions. The medical countermeasures are FDA-regulated products that FDA anticipates will be needed to respond to future pandemics, epidemics, and chemical, biological, and radiological/nuclear threats. FDA also focused on active pharmaceutical ingredients of essential medicines and medical countermeasures and strategies for manufacturing these products, particularly within the U.S.