US regulator announces first shortage of drug related to coronavirus

Reuters

Posted at Feb 28 2020 12:27 PM

People line up at a pharmacy to purchase N95 face masks in advance of the potential coronavirus outbreak in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, US, February 27, 2020. Carlo Allegri, Reuters

The US Food and Drug Administration on Thursday announced the first coronavirus-related drug shortage in the United States but declined to name the drug in question.

The regulator said a drugmaker had informed it of the shortage of one of its drugs because manufacturing of one of its main pharmaceutical ingredients was affected by the fast-moving virus outbreak.

The FDA said that there are alternatives that can be used by patients.

"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 regulator said in the statement.

While the FDA would not name the drug in question or the manufacturer, it did say that it had been recently added to the drug shortages list.

The FDA said this week that it identified about 20 drugs that either source all of their main ingredients from, or are finished in, China, and had contacted their manufacturers to gauge if they would face shortages due to the coronavirus outbreak.