There are 3 manufacturers in the US and they are beefing up production and the FDA is looking for alternatives overseas if needed. Saline solutions are of course heavily used in hospitals and is like a staple.
It is possible for hospital pharmacists to compound sodium chloride IV solutions using small volumes from very high concentration sodium chloride injection vials but only as a last resort. The government also has a reserve stockpile. BD
A shortage of intravenous saline is causing hospitals and dialysis centers to scramble to manage their supplies of one of the most commonly used drugs.
Healthcare providers are asking doctors and staff to use smaller IV bags and find alternatives, if possible, to cope with the shortage, officials and executives said. Officials have not yet heard of any facilities running out of the solutions, “but we know that hospitals are still reporting that they may only have a few days supply,” said Valerie Jensen, associate director of the drug shortages program at the Food and Drug Administration.
The agency is also looking into alternative sources, including overseas suppliers. Baxter HealthCare Corp., Hospira Inc. and B. Braun Medical Inc. have stepped up production in response. Baxter spokeswoman Deborah Spak said the company has increased its production and is managing inventory to supply customers with the most critical needs. It has notified customers that normal production should be in place by the second quarter of the year.