Hurricane Maria stalls shipments of Baxter's IV products to US hospitals: 4 things to know

Baxter International notified customers of shipment delays for two drugs — dextrose and sodium chloride — following Hurricane Maria, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Here are four things to know,

1. Baxter said it has lost "multiple production days" at its Puerto Rico manufacturing sites, which will hinder its ability to restore shipments of the two intravenous fluids, according to a Sept. 22 letter Baxter sent to hospitals and other customers in the U.S.

2. Dextrose and sodium chloride are already in short supply in the U.S. due to various manufacturing issues unrelated to the hurricane. Baxter manufactures smaller containers of the IV solution at its Puerto Rico sites that are intended to be mixed with other drugs. The previous dextrose and sodium chloride shortages involved larger containers of the drugs, which aren't produced in Puerto Rico, Baxter spokesman William Rader told WSJ Wednesday.

3. Baxter told customers in a Sept. 23 letter it would conserve the supply of many drugs produced in Puerto Rico — including IV fluids — by distributing fixed amounts of the products to hospitals based on their previous average monthly purchases.

"Until our inventory assessments are completed, we will not be able to approve any requests for increase, exception or new allocation," Baxter said in the letter, cited by WSJ. "We regret this disruption to your daily operations and appreciate your patience as we re-establish our supply pipeline."

4. The drugmaker said its working on repairing damage at its Puerto Rico sites and hopes to resume limited production within a few days.

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