Quick Hits: Coronavirus Causes Two Key Shortages

Increased demand due to the pandemic has caused shortages of key hospital painkillers.

A recent FiercePharma article discussed the shortage of anesthetics in U.S. hospitals due to increased demand from coronavirus patients. The FDA posted shortages last Friday, specifically calling out anesthetics propofol and midazolam. API sourcing difficulties could delay companies like Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories and Hikma Pharmaceuticals from resupplying propofol until October. Certain doses of midazolam are still available, but others may be delayed until early 2021.

To ease shortages, the DEA announced it would allow increased production and imports of midazolam. The DEA also added various painkillers and sedatives to the production increase list, including fentanyl, ketamine, phenobarbital, and diazepam.

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