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For Immediate Release 


Denise Gavilan 



A.S.P.E.N. Applauds President Obama’s Executive Order  

Addressing Drug Shortages   


October 31, 2011, Silver Spring, MD – The American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.) applauds the executive order issued by President Obama today that may help resolve the growing shortages of vitamins, electrolytes and other IV nutrition ingredients used to treat patients undergoing parenteral nutrition therapy.  


Drug shortages continue to rise as patients’ health continues to suffer, and parenteral nutrition has been severely affected. There are now 20 parenteral nutrition components on the American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists (ASHP) shortages list. A.S.P.E.N. and other organizations have collected stories from patients nationwide citing their experiences with drug shortages and have been working to draw attention to this issue.   


“This executive order is a much-needed step in the right direction,” said Jay Mirtallo, A.S.P.E.N. president.  “A.S.P.E.N. members have been dealing with parenteral nutrition component shortages for more than a year, and we hope that the resources and mandates outlined in the executive order will make these medications available to patients in a timely manner.” 


A.S.P.E.N. is continuing to address the drug shortages issue by: 

    • Asking the FDA to provide safe alternatives and monitoring parameters since most alternatives are not as effective or safe.   
    • Recommending that the FDA approve importation from global markets including Europe and Canada and other drug manufacturers/suppliers that meet FDA requirements 
    • Facilitating communication between leaders and A.S.P.E.N. members and consumers concerning patient care related issues  
    • Creating a drug shortage subcommittee to develop recommendations on how to manage product shortages and quickly get them approved and disseminated.  
    • Supporting current congressional legislation. 
    • Working with Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) regarding safety issues due to shortages and/or patient harm due to shortages.   
    • Encouraging A.S.P.E.N. members and patients to report shortages. 
    • Conducting webinars to discuss parenteral nutrition product shortages. 


The American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.) is dedicated to improving patient care by advancing the science and practice of clinical nutrition and metabolism. Founded in 1976, A.S.P.E.N. is an interdisciplinary organization whose members are involved in the provision of clinical nutrition therapies, including parenteral and enteral nutrition. With more than 5,500 members from around the world, A.S.P.E.N. is a community of dietitians, nurses, pharmacists, physicians, scientists, students and other health professionals from every facet of nutrition support clinical practice, research and education.  


Press Release (.pdf)