(AP) The Food and Drug Administration is announcing a new proposal designed to head off more shortages of crucial medications that have disrupted care at hospitals and health clinics nationwide.
Under the proposed rule, companies that make widely-used prescription medicines would have to notify the FDA of any changes in drug production that could disrupt the U.S. supply.
FDA leaders say the advance warning will help the agency work with companies to resolve supply problems or find alternate sources of drugs that are being phased out.
The U.S. has seen a spike in drug shortages over the past six years, particularly inexpensive generic injected drugs, including powerful antibiotics, painkillers and anesthetics used in surgery. They are the workhorses of hospitals but often produce little profit for companies.