Berkley Life Sciences has rolled out a new insurance product, which attempts to hold pharmaceutical and medical device companies liable due to shortage in supply of their drugs, devices or other life science products or components.

The traditional insurance policies do not address claims alleging injury to patients due to the unavailability or rationing of a product, they only cover where product use or exposure causes body injury.

Due to this, traditional liability policies may not even offer a defense to product shortage claims, creating a serious coverage gap for life science companies that could result in significant uninsured loss.

Berkley Life Sciences has been developed to meet product shortage losses and its product shortage coverage responds to third party claims of injury due to the unavailability or rationing of a life science product.

The newly offered product also helps to compensate the insured for first party costs, which includes items such as responding to the FDA, monitoring customers’ health conditions throughout the shortage and locating stolen or counterfeited product.

Commenting on the new policy launch, Berkley Life Sciences president Jill Wadlund said the AMA has declared the growing unavailability of life saving and life enhancing products to be a ‘national public health emergency.

"This pronouncement has spawned attempts by some law firms to hold the pharmaceutical and medical device industry responsible for critical product shortages," Wadlund added.