- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 29, 2010

EDINA, Minn. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar is putting the spotlight on the growing shortage of medications, especially those used for treating cancer.

She has called a news conference for Wednesday morning in which she will stand with pharmacists, doctors and patients and urge the Food and Drug Administration and the pharmaceutical industry to address the problem.

While at Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina, Klobuchar will also announce legislation to provide the FDA with more tools to manage drug shortages.

The FDA currently lists 150 important drugs that are in short supply — double the number from five years ago. Those include everything from morphine for pain relief to leucovrin for cancer.

There is also a serious shortage of pre-filled epinephrine syringes used to treat heart attacks and extreme allergic reactions.