Local anesthetics shortage prolonged

Local anesthetics bupivacaine and lidocaine have been in unsteady supply since at least 2015, and recently, drugmakers postponed their expected resupply dates again. 

For six of Pfizer's bupivacaine with epinephrine solutions, resupply dates shifted from February 2024 to March 2025. Most of the other shortages are predicted to resolve in a few months. 

Here are the new estimated resupply dates and drug availabilities, according to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists:

Bupivacaine: 39 unavailable, 10 available

  • Areva Pharmaceuticals is temporarily importing 0.25% and 0.5% solutions of bupivacaine from Fisiopharma, its Italy-based supplier. They are available.

  • Baxter International discontinued one solution.

  • Eugia US has seven products on back order, and for two of them, the company  expects release dates in June and July.

  • Fresenius Kabi has five on back order and estimated some resupply dates to be between late June and mid-July.
  • Hikma Pharmaceuticals has eight bupivacaine products on back order. One solution is expected to return to the market in late June and another in late June or early August. The company said it could not forecast resupply dates for the others.

  • Pfizer has 16 products on back order and two discontinued. Its predicted release dates fall between June and March 2024.

Bupivacaine with epinephrine: 20 unavailable, zero available

  • Fresenius Kabi has eight injections on back order and said it cannot estimate a resupply date for six of them. Two are expected to return to normal supply levels in early June and mid-July, respectfully.

  • Pfizer has 12 on back order. Six generic products were expected to be available in February 2024, but that date was recently pushed to March 2025. For the branded product, Pfizer said it predicts resupply to happen between May and July.

Lidocaine: 38 unavailable, 19 available

  • Amphastar Pharmaceuticals has 2% lidocaine 5 milliliter syringes on allocation and did not share a resupply date.

  • Eugia has 10 products on back order. The company previously estimated other solutions to be released in March, but in a May 19 update from the ASHP, the drugmaker said it could not provide other resupply dates.

  • Fresenius Kabi has nine on back order — nine less than it reported in March. Four solutions did not come with an expected release date, and the others were given resupply dates in May and mid-June.

  • Hikma has four on back order, said it could not predict one solution's resupply date, and forecasted the others will return in late May and June.

  • Pfizer has 14 on back order. Most of the resupply dates are slated between June and August. One solution, 0.5% 50 milliliter flip top vials, previously had a release date of December before being postponed to March 2024.

Lidocaine with epinephrine: 23 unavailable, zero available

  • Fresenius Kabi has 13 on back order and forecasts most resupply dates to be in June and July. It said it could not estimate three solutions' release dates.

  • Pfizer has 10 back ordered products. In March, the company said it predicted resupply dates to fall between April and December, but a May 31 update from the ASHP says the new dates are between June 2023 and July 2024.

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