This Week – April 6, 2012

This Week in Washington DC:

  1. ACG Urges Drug Manufacturers to Ramp-Up Supply
  2. Are You Looking for Domperidone for Patients?
  3. CMS Clarifies ASC Policy on Patients’ Rights and Other Notifications

ACG Contacts Drug Manufacturers on Drug Shortages

On Thursday, April 5th, ACG sent letters to three drug manufacturers urging these companies to increase production of certain narcotics and sedatives routinely used in endoscopic procedures as well as other drugs used in gastroenterology, such as methotrexate for Crohn’s patients. ACG also offered its full assistance in alerting ACG members and the GI community as soon as supplies become available. During the most recent ACG meeting with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), the Agency suggested ACG reach out to drug manufacturers. These letters are in response to this ongoing dialogue with the FDA as well as an offer to help companies alert GI specialists when more products are available.

Please click here to read the letters sent to certain drug manufacturers:
Ben Venue Laboratories, Inc. / Bedford Laboratories
West-Ward Pharmaceuticals
Hospira, Inc.

Please contact ACG if your practice is experiencing problems accessing certain drugs or has been forced to cancel patient appointments due to these shortages. 

ACG will continue alerting membership with the most current information on drug shortages in gastroenterology. Please also monitor the ACG website for this latest information on drug shortages.

ACG Summary Document: “How to Access Domperidone”

ACG has received inquiries from various GI clinicians and your respective ACG Governors regarding the ability to access domperidone for patients with certain gastrointestinal disorders. To help ACG membership understand the process to obtain the drug for patients, ACG and the FDA worked collaboratively to develop this summary for ACG membership.

This document also provides a link to the FDA application to access and administer this drug for your patients.

How to Obtain Domperidone

ACG thanks its Governors for their efforts in representing their fellow ACG colleagues.  Please continue to contact your ACG Governor or ACG staff to convey issues affecting your practice. In many cases, these issues are also occurring in other states as well. ACG will continue to serve the local interests of membership through its unique ‘ACG Governor’ structure and by working closely with the various state GI societies.

CMS Notifies State Surveyors on ASC Changes

On March 30th, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a letter to state survey agency directors clarifying that, as long as the information is provided before surgery begins, ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) may provide to all patients on the same day of the surgery notification of patients’ rights, physician financial interests, as well as the facility’s advance directive policies.  

This change became effective December 23, 2011. However, CMS did not send this notification to state survey agencies until March. Previously, ASCs were required to provide this information at least one day prior to surgery. Please contact ACG or your ACG Governor if your state surveyor may have been using the wrong standard during a recent Medicare inspection.

Please click here to read the CMS letter to state surveyors.

ACG will continue to be a strong advocate for ASCs and will update membership as policy changes impact the ASC setting.

Please stay tuned for further updates. Please also share and discuss your thoughts with fellow ACG members on the ACG GI Circle. To login and share your comments, go to and sign in as a member. Once you have done so, click here and then click the orange "Visit ACG GI Circle" button to be taken to the GI Circle site. If you have not yet activated your ACG GI Circle account, please email us at

Contact Brad Conway, VP Public Policy, with any questions or for more information.

Brad Conway