Baxter – a leading producer of intravenous (IV) saline fluids – has announced that all their facilities in Puerto Rico are connected to the power grid after nearly 100 days since Hurricanes Maria and Irma battered the island in September. According to a statement by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, addressing the IV saline shortage is a key area of focus.
The FDA has taken steps to restore production of saline and amino acids in Puerto Rico and to get additional saline supplies to the mainland United States, allowing some suppliers to ship saline to the United States from plants that are not FDA approved if they can show their products meet U.S. standards.
Although production of saline solution and amino acids is increasing, inventories have yet to be rebuilt. Customers are expected to remain on allocations and hospitals need to carefully manage their supplies.
In a recent statement, Baxter said, “We have in fact increased the amount of certain products available to customers thanks to increased production in Puerto Rico and the special importation products. Overall, we expect to return to more normal supply levels for products made in Puerto Rico in the coming weeks.”
Sources: FDA press release, January 4, 2018; FiercePharma, January 9, 2018.