A Medical Crisis
Whether you have a pre-existing condition that has taken its toll on your health, an injury that altered your life completely, or you have developed a disease, you likely rely on certain medications and medical devices to stay alive. For many, these devices can help them maintain as much independence as their condition or disease allows them. For others, they may be the deciding factor between life and death. Medical devices are an important part of many people’s lives. So, with the recent government shutdown, all of these individuals essentially have their lives put at risk.
Why The Shutdown Impacts Lives
With almost everyone feeling the brunt of the government shutdown in some way, perhaps those most impacted are those within the health sector. The FDA, in particular, was hard hit when the government shutdown. 800,000 people were furloughed with the shutdown, and within the FDA, they made up quite a few thousand in that number. While there are still certain parts of the FDA in operation, the branches that particularly concern medical devices hasn’t been in operation. Typically, this branch sees around 300 submissions in a given month from technological and medical devices companies.
These companies essentially have to send them their submissions for new and regular check-ups. Without the FDA signing them off to be safe to use, they are unable to be distributed to those who need them. While there is a small bit of money being used to push out some of these submissions, that fund is rapidly drying up, and before long, there won’t be anything left to approve these submissions. As such, the ability to send out medical devices that save people lives daily will be ended.
There are other problems that the FDA is going to have to face the longer the shutdown continues, too. With the submissions still coming in, they’re going to face a backlog of work that they need to muck through. Essentially, this is going to delay everything and this could prove fatal for those companies who are just beginning. Unable to wait to see if their devices make it through the FDA’s safety check, these businesses could crumble. Their device, what could have saved thousands of lives, may never see the market’s shelves if they’re unable to make a profit and stay in business.
Many medical device companies are pushing the government to allow FDA access to the funds that they need in order to keep functioning. At the very least, that the FDA is granted enough money to focus on the backlog of medical device submissions. While at this point, the government shutdown is still in effect, there is hope that lawmakers will reach a deal that will allow more government sectors to return to work.
Health Impacted By Delay Of Medical Devices
Those most impacted by the shutdown, unfortunately, are the sick and hurt. Without the devices, many will likely die or have their condition worsen. For some, legal action may be able to be taken, but by and large, those who suffer without their medical devices will likely perish in silence. They are the quiet victims of the government shutdown. Besides the medical device companies, you, too, can reach out to your lawmakers in the government and press them to either stop the government shutdown or to approve FDA funding, so that those employees can get back to work and approve those medical devices that can help to save your life and the lives of others. Currently, with the state of the shutdown, lives are endangered.
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