FDA: Major drug shortages possible after Hurricane Maria

Shortages of some critical, life-saving drugs are possible following Hurricane Maria, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

The storm, which made landfall in Puerto Rico last Wednesday, halted operations at nearly 50 drug plants on the island.

Several drugs may "soon face critical shortages if we don't find a path for removal or ways to get production back up and running," FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, said Monday. He did not identify specific drugs at risk, but said dozens of Puerto Rico drug plants manufacture cancer medications, immunosuppressants and diabetes devices.

The FDA is working with drug companies to redirect manufacturing to other locations and preserve existing drugs to prevent a major health crisis, according to Dr. Gottlieb.

"Since Friday, we have undertaken swift and extensive efforts to prevent or limit the loss or shortage of multiple drugs critical to American patients due to the challenges related to refrigeration, storage and transportation," Dr. Gottlieb said in the statement.

The agency also created a task force to address drug and device shortages caused by hurricanes.

Drugmakers Eli Lilly and AbbVie told USA Today they do not expect the manufacturing disruptions in Puerto Rico to affect patients' access to their medications.

More articles on supply chain:

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