Resilient Drug Supply Project (RDSP) Co-Principal Investigator Stephen Schondelmeyer, PharmD, PhD, has been named to the first board of the newly launched End Drug Shortages Alliance (EDSA), the organization announced this week in a news release.
EDSA, a collaboration of health systems and supply chain and pharmaceutical industry experts, aims to end drug shortages by boosting transparency, communication, quality, redundancy, and production. The project was spearheaded by healthcare services company Vizient.
RDSP is part of the University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, publisher of CIDRAP News.
In addition to Schondelmeyer, the organization appointed Eric Tichy, PharmD, MBA, division chair of pharmacy supply solutions for Mayo Clinic as board chair and Terri Wilson, RPh, director of pharmacy and supply chain services at Children's Hospital Association as vice-chair.
The other members of the 11-member board are Laura Bray, MBA, of Angels for Change; Ilisa Bernstein, PharmD, JD, of the American Pharmacists Association; Jason Chou, PharmD, of Ochsner Health; Stephen Colvill of RISCS; Alex Oshmyansky, MD, PhD, of Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Co.; Mittal Sutaria, PharmD, of Vizient; Lindsey Thomas, MBA, of Fresenius Kabi USA; and Kasey Thompson, PharmD, MBA, of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.
Solving drug shortages 'within reach'
Launched in November 2021, the EDSA is now 70 organizations strong and held its first all-member meeting earlier this year in Irving, Texas.
"The Alliance has generated a lot of excitement from across the industry for resolving the persistent issue of drug shortages," Tichy said in the release. "Our members come from different parts of the industry, but our goal is the same—ensuring providers have the medications they need for the patients they serve."
The number of US drug shortages has stayed above 200 since 2018, the EDSA said, sometimes leading to disruptions in access to lifesaving treatment. The alliance's objectives include identifying essential drugs at risk for shortage, developing a platform to share data on supply and demand and another to share medication-mitigation strategies, and creating safety stock programs and best practices in drug stewardship, the release said.
Board member Sutaria said that the alliance has broad pharmaceutical industry support. "Solving drug shortages is within reach, and it will take the collective effort of the entire health care community to achieve it," she said.
"Ensuring the supply of drugs that Americans need is a critical infrastructure issue that has public health, economic, and national security implications," Schondelmeyer said.
The University of Minnesota's RDSP serves a critical role in this effort to end drug shortages. RDSP is supported by the personal philanthropy of Christy Walton through the Walton Family Foundation.
RDSP has built, and maintains, a detailed map of the upstream drug supply chain for the most critical drugs in the US market. This supply map can identify bottlenecks and other risk factors that can disrupt the supply of these life-saving treatments. The RDSP's research and policy efforts focus on strengthening the US drug supply chain and preventing global disruptions.