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Spikes in Demand From Coronavirus Patients are Creating Shortages of Asthma Drugs and Sedatives for Ventilator Patients

Published in: The Washington Post

Premier Inc., a major group purchasing organization for hospitals, is urging the FDA to use its new powers quickly to investigate and anticipate drug shortages, said the company’s senior director of advocacy, Soumi Saha.

She cited two examples of the FDA’s blind spots. Hurricane Maria crippled manufacturing in Puerto Rico in 2017, creating a dire shortage of saline solution in the United States. The FDA had been caught unaware that a high degree of manufacturing concentration had left the nation vulnerable to disruption of a basic medical supply, Saha said. In July 2018, small amounts of cancer-causing agents were discovered in common generic high blood pressure medications manufactured in China and India, leading to widespread recalls. The contaminants turned up in pills distributed by manufacturers through November 2019.

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