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U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) is joining other Democrat and Republican Senators in urging top health officials in the Biden administration to address the ongoing shortage of amoxicillin, a widely-used antibiotic for bacterial and respiratory illnesses.
Last Wednesday, Klobuchar along with Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Ed Markey (D-MA), wrote a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Robert Califf, highlighting how the shortages are adversely impacting providers and patients by leading to delays in health care services.
The letter states, “we write to express our strong concern regarding the shortage of amoxicillin and the serious threat that this and other medical shortages pose to our nation’s patients and public health. Parents, patients, and health providers across the country have shared how this shortage has adversely impacted patient care.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends amoxicillin as a “first line of therapy” for multiple pediatric illnesses.
The letter also states, “we urge the Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to convene the Drug Shortage Task Force and work with stakeholders, including providers, on identifying factors and potential solutions to mitigating the amoxicillin shortage. Further, we request an update on FDA initiatives to prevent and mitigate drug shortages.”
The urgency is shared across the nation, including in Minnesota, as the recent high levels of respiratory illnesses have spiked demand for amoxicillin and other essential medicines.
Schools across Minnesota are feeling the strain of more flu cases. According to Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) data, as of Nov. 19, there have been an additional 240 school outbreaks. There have been 564 school outbreaks statewide since the first week of October.