Puerto Rico based pharmaceutical supplies companies have resumed operations after Hurricanes Irma and Maria damages. This is good news for hospitals all over the country. Hospitals have struggled with drug and supply shortages and were exacerbated with the hurricane damages to the island of Puerto Rico.
Latest reports confirm that all the of the companies based in the island are now back on the power grid, and now have increased production of IV fluid bags and other drugs.
In a statement earlier this week, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, said that “Given the improvements we’ve seen over the last few weeks, I’m optimistic that supplies of IV saline and amino acids will increase over the next few weeks and the stress of the shortage will begin to abate, even if the shortages will not be fully resolved immediately.”
Electricity still remains "unstable" in Puerto Rico and companies will continue to maintain back up generators, but production of IV bags and mini-bags have resumed.
Baxter and other medical supply and drug companies have received permission by the FDA to import certain. Products from its international facilities in Ireland, Australia, Canada, Mexico and other locations to begin later this year. The FDA is also working with these companies to extend expiration dates on critical drugs if they can still be safely used.
72 percent of Puerto Rico's export is pharmaceuticals. Disruption of IV bag production has definitely been felt in our hospitals all over the nation, those slow IV pushes has become a issue and time consuming.
The American Hospital Association has issued a letter to the U.S. Congress regarding the IV bags supply shortage related to hurricane damages calling lawmakers to examine how the pharmaceutical companies communicate informations about what drugs are manufactured at which plants and their locations. “This lack of transparency puts healthcare systems at a significant disadvantage when trying to take a proactive approach to handling a potential drug shortage... the current system results in a reactive approach, which is usually short-notice and has a rapid downstream effect, leaving hospitals at a loss to meet patient needs.” the letter stated
The Dude Nurse
Klaus Campos, BSN-RN