The FDA just announced the first drug shortage caused by the coronavirus, but wouldn't identify the drug
People stand in line to buy protective masks at the Government Pharmaceutical Organization in Bangkok, Thailand, 07 February 2020.
- The coronavirus has caused the first drug shortage in the US.
- The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the shortage in a statement released Thursday night. The agency didn't identify the affected medicine.
- "A manufacturer has alerted us to a shortage of a human drug that was recently added to the drug shortages list," FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said in the statement. "The manufacturer just notified us that this shortage is related to a site affected by coronavirus."
- There are alternatives to the drug that patients can use, Hahn added.
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The coronavirus outbreak has caused the first drug shortage in the US.
The US Food and Drug Administration announced the shortage Thursday night, the health agency declined to identify the drug.
"A manufacturer has alerted us to a shortage of a human drug that was recently added to the drug shortages list," Hahn said in the statement. "The manufacturer just notified us that this shortage is related to a site affected by coronavirus."
The FDA has contacted more than 180 drug manufacturers since January 24, asking them to evaluate their supply chains related to China.
China is a critic ial player in the global supply chain for drugs, as many ingredients in the medicines we take are manufactured there. As the virus has spread to infect tens of thousands throughout China, the country has taken aggressive measures to attempt to curb the spread.
The drug shortage is caused by manufacturing problems with the active pharmaceutical ingredient, which is the central ingredient of drugs, the FDA stated.
"It is important to note that there are other alternatives that can be used by patients," Hahn added. "We are working with the manufacturer as well as other manufacturers to mitigate the shortage. We will do everything possible to mitigate the shortage."
The FDA has also identified about 20 other drugs whose ingredients are solely sourced from China The FDA stated Thursday none of the companies producing these drugs have reported shortages, and all of these medicines are considered "non-critical."
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