The list includes 223 essential drug and biological product medicines and medical countermeasures. There are also 96 device medical countermeasures on the list, including diagnostic testing kits, ventilators, personal protective equipment, vital sign monitoring devices and vaccine delivery devices.
The FDA said essential medicines were chosen based on which are most needed by patients in U.S. acute care medical facilities. The agency said medical countermeasures were chosen based on what it expects will be needed to respond to future pandemics and epidemics, as well as potential chemical, biological and nuclear attacks.
The critical inputs the FDA chose for the list include active pharmaceutical ingredients used in essential medicines and countermeasures, as well as ingredients that help assess the safety and efficacy of those products.
The agency said the list was compiled to better prepare the country to protect its people against future disasters.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to be well-prepared for future public health emergencies,” Ilisa Bernstein, PharmD, senior vice president for pharmacy practice and government affairs at the American Pharmacists Association, said in a statement. “We applaud FDA’s identification of key essential medicines and medical countermeasures that should be ready and available for pharmacists to address patient needs. Drug supply disruptions and shortages cannot be tolerated, and this measure ensures critical continuity of care for our patients during urgent stress on the drug supply chain and health care system.”
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