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The FDA defines life-sustaining drugs as a product that is “essential to, or that yields information that is essential to, the restoration or continuation of a bodily function important to the continuation of human life.” 


Examples of life-sustaining drugs include:

  • cancer chemotherapy drugs

  • epinephrine injectors like EpiPens to reverse life-threatening allergic reactions

  • drugs that restore normal heart rhythm for people with severe irregular heartbeat

  • anti-seizure medicine

  • emergency inhalers used to reverse asthma attacks

  • diabetes control medications like insulin

Life-Sustaining Medication