Obama readies plan to combat drug shortages  The medicine shortages that have plagued the U.S. for the past few years are posing a significant challenge to healthcare providers. The Obama Administration is hoping to prevent further shocks to supplies through a newly unveiled program.

President Obama planned to issue an executive order on Monday that his senior advisers hope will help to address the issue plaguing healthcare providers across the U.S. Critical drugs have increasingly become difficult to procure, leading to supply constraints that have subsequently driven prices higher.

The president's order effectively orders the Food and Drug Administration to broaden its reporting of potential shortages of certain medications and to expedite its reviews of applications to begin or alter production of such drugs, according to a report from The New York Times.

Moreover, Obama's executive order stipulates FDA officials must share information with the Department of Justice regarding possible price-fixing among drug manufacturers.

A growing number of physicians have voiced concerns about the drug shortages, which have driven up the prices of many medications. This is the first executive order from a president to directly affect the operations of the FDA since 1985, according to The Times.

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