8 drugs now in shortage

Monthslong drug shortages have affected quality in surgery, emergency care and other hospital departments in 2023, according to a recent survey of 200 healthcare workers. Recently, eight more medications have fallen into short supply or discontinuation. 

Here are the new shortages, according to drug supply databases from the FDA and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

Editor's note: The drugs are listed in alphabetical order.

1. Ampicillin injection: About 50% of the U.S. supply of the antibacterial drug is in short supply as of Oct. 23. Most drugmakers did not share a reason for the shortage, and release dates range between October and May. 

2. Beyfortus (nirsevimab-alip intramuscular injection): Sanofi is reporting insufficient supply of its respiratory syncytial virus antiviral, which was the first FDA-approved RSV drug for children. The CDC recommends clinicians ration their supply for infants at the highest risk of a severe case. "Providers should be aware that some insurers may not cover the cost of two 50 milligram doses for an individual infant," the ASHP said Oct. 24.

3. Chloramphenicol sodium succinate injection: Fresenius Kabi, the sole supplier of this antibiotic, put one solution on back order without a resupply date. 

4. Technetium Tc-99m sodium pertechnetate generator injection: NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes is discontinuing four solutions of the drug used for medical imaging. The company said the discontinuation is a business decision, and the last batch is set to be made Oct. 30 with an expiration date of Nov. 20, 2024. 

5. Cromolyn oral solution: Two solutions are available and four are not. The drug manages symptoms of mastocytosis, a rare condition where there are too many mast cells, which can spur abdominal pain and nausea. Most drugmakers could not predict a release date, and one expects supply to rebound in mid-November. 

6. Dacarbazine injection: Solutions of the skin cancer drug have been in short supply since April, but the shortage is worsening. Fresenius Kabi and Hikma Pharmaceuticals have three solutions on back order with an expected release date of November. Teva Pharmaceuticals joined the fray Oct. 24 and has two solutions unavailable without a resupply date. The drugmaker said the shortage was to ensure compliance with "good manufacturing processes" — meaning quality control.

7. Hydromorphone hydrochloride suppository: Padagis is the sole supplier of the severe pain medication, and the suppositories are on long-term back order because of a shortage of a raw ingredient. 

8. Oxymorphone immediate-release tablets: Out of six solutions of the pain medication, five are on back order without a resupply date and one is available.

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