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    Pharmacy Supply Lines Are Still Shaking After Storm Passes

    Two hurricanes devastated the U.S. supply chain, affecting pharmacies all over—and leaving many to wonder what’s next.


    How Long?

    As the shortages from Puerto Rico hit, and if they are as severe as many predict, the FDA is ready to work with companies to alleviate them, Gottlieb said.1 The agency is working with manufacturers to obtain more generators and fuel to power them. It is also looking for ways to obtain critical products from elsewhere. “We address drug shortages through the careful and selective importation of alternative supplies from other approved manufacturing sites and reliable markets,” he said.

    Resources“What I am reading is that this could go on 2 months, 5 months, 6 months, a year. The answer is, who knows?” Friend said. “But it is going to be very dependent on how quickly they get the power grid up.”

    Friend predicted there will be many waivers issued that will allow importation of drugs from other parts of the world. “But I don’t think that they are going to wait until there are no drugs left,” Friend said. Gottlieb will push to get things done, he added.

    No two disasters are alike, but health-care systems should prepare for possible disruptions, Louissaint said. “Health-care facilities should work with their distributors and partners along the supply chain to ensure that their business continuity plans are in sync and lines of communication remain open during an emergency response.” 


    1. Gottlieb S. Testimony of Scott Gottlieb, MD, Commissioner of Food and Drugs. Available at http://docs.house.gov/meetings/IF/IF02/20171024/106530/HHRG-115-IF02-Wst... Accessed on Oct. 29, 2017

    2. BDO Knows Healthcare Alert. Irma, Maria highlight pharma’s need to balance supply chain October 2017. Available at https://www.bdo.com/insights/industries/healthcare/irma,-maria-highlight.... Accessed on Oct. 27. 2017.

    3. Baxter. Baxter provides update on Puerto Rico recovery status post Hurricane Maria. Available at https://www.baxter.com/news-media/newsroom/press-releases/2017/10-12-17-.... Accessed on Oct 24, 2017.

    Valerie DeBenedette
    Valerie DeBenedette is Managing Editor of Drug Topics.


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