50% of albuterol solutions on back order

About 1 in 2 albuterol solutions are in shortage two months after Akorn Operating Co., a Gurnee, Ill.-based drugmaker, closed

In late February, Akorn laid off hundreds of employees and ended all manufacturing operations. Nearly a dozen drugs have either been unavailable — because Akorn was the nation's sole provider — or have fallen into worsened shortages, including albuterol

The FDA confirmed reports of some albuterol inhalation solutions creeping into straining supply levels in March, and the agency said it was working with manufacturers to alleviate the shortage. As of April 23, 18 albuterol products are unavailable and 15 remain in stock, according to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. 

Cipla USA, Ritedose and Sun Pharma reported eight albuterol sulfate and ipratropium bromide inhalation solutions on back order and allocation, and the three drugmakers did not provide an estimated resupply date. Cipla USA, Mylan Pharmaceuticals and Nephron Pharmaceuticals said they have eight available.

For albuterol inhalation solutions — which are used in nebulizers to help patients breathe — Sun Pharma, Ritedose and Mylan are reporting shortages. One product from Akorn is discontinued. Mylan and Nephron said they have seven solutions on the market.

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