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FDA turns to Twitter to help track testing supply shortages

2 comments

  1. skybrian
    (edited )
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    From the article: [...]

    From the article:

    Wading into the Wild West of social media for help during a global pandemic may seem unsophisticated for an agency charged with regulating the nation’s drugs and medical devices. But thanks to a decades-old law, the FDA cannot require device manufacturers to report shortages in the same way it can for drugmakers.

    This fundamental gap in the flow of information has made it difficult for the FDA to identify weaknesses in the supply chain for coronavirus testing and in the nationwide push to test hundreds of thousands of patients. The agency is responsible for regulating coronavirus tests used by U.S. laboratories.

    So the FDA is making plaintive appeals on Twitter, in addition to negotiating with companies behind the scenes.

    @US_FDA suggests companies make public their inventory, production schedule and a hotline number to address questions regarding availability of reagents and other supplies needed for #COVID19 testing,” Anand Shah, the agency’s deputy commissioner for medical and scientific affairs, tweeted on March 17. “If you have an allocation plan to maximize efficient testing, please post.”

    The FDA is seeking information about swabs, test kits, instruments and supplies for transporting and preparing samples for analysis, Shah said in a subsequent tweet that tagged the @FDADeviceInfo account.

    [...]

    The Trump administration has sought to tighten rules for device makers in recent years, bringing them in line with the regulations that require drug manufacturers to warn the government when a shortage seems likely — and how long it could last. The president’s 2020 budget request proposed requiring device-makers to tell the FDA if a significant interruption of essential products was likely, and to file regular reports on their manufacturing capacity.

    Similar plans have been gaining steam in Congress. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) introduced a bill in February to bolster FDA’s authority to monitor device shortages, and Sens. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) and Bob Casey (D-Penn.) unveiled similar legislation in March.

    1 vote
  2. cfabbro
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    I wonder if the FDA knows about @COVID2019tests I don't know how accurate or up to date their data is, but the American Enterprise Institute is behind it, so at least it's not just some random...

    I wonder if the FDA knows about @COVID2019tests

    I don't know how accurate or up to date their data is, but the American Enterprise Institute is behind it, so at least it's not just some random person on twitter.

    1 vote