In a statement issued January 16, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, said his agency expects the shortage of IV fluids to improve in the coming weeks and months. In addition to working with the manufacturers to ensure their Puerto Rico facilities can operate at full capacity, they have been working with manufacturers such as Baxter and B. Braun to import product from their foreign facilities.
The FDA has approved IV saline products from additional companies, specifically Fresenius Kabi and Laboratorios Grifols. The tight supply has been exacerbated by an increased demand for saline as a result of a worse-than-expected flu season. The FDA has also asked companies to submit data to extend expiration dates for these products.
The FDA encourages health care organizations and hospitals to contact the FDA first if they are not receiving the products they need. The American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP) has recently released guidance that hospitals could find helpful.