Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) -- Lawmakers in Washington want to do something about the shortage of a number of life–saving prescription medications.

US Senator Amy Klobuchar co–introduced the Life Saving Medications Act.

Klobuchar said that across the nation...some patients have had to wait days even weeks for a particular prescription to become available.

She spoke out in Duluth Saturday about the proposed legislation...which would require drug manufactures to give the FDA an early notification if they're running low on a particular drug.

"That way the FDA can start working on finding drugs from another manufacture and if nothing is found in the United States, to re–import drugs from safe places like Canada because the last thing that should happen to a patient is that they find out the day before they have a treatment for cancer that the drug is unavailable."

So why is there a shortage of certain drugs?

Health professionals say there's a number of factors...ranging from the unavailability of the raw materials to produce the drugs...to an unexpected increase in the demand for a drug.
Klobuchar said the pharmaceutical industry also plays a role...as some companies simply stopped the production of low priced generic drugs in an effort to make more money by producing and selling brand name drugs.

Klobuchar said there haven't been any serious shortages in Minnesota, but that some pharmacists have had to call around to find certain drugs.