The Food and Drug Administration is reporting shortages of pre-filled syringes of epinephrine, which are most commonly used to treat individuals who are in cardiac arrest.
The FDA's drug shortage database shows that both Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.-based Amphastar Pharmaceuticals and Lake Forest, Ill.-based Hospira are reporting shortages of the injections. The syringes are in intermittent supply and it's not expected that will change anytime soon, said Stacey Winston, senior director of pharmacy contracting solutions at Amerinet, a group purchasing organization.
There are only a few suppliers for this product and they are currently trying to meet the need for the entire market,” Winston said in a statement.
Winston said that manufacturers of the syringes have been suffering frequent production issues and there's been a lot of activity surrounding suppliers leaving and re-entering the market.
“In general, when a small number of suppliers manufacturer a particular product and one of them exits the market or has production issues, it makes a huge impact on supply,” Winston said. “The remaining suppliers have difficulty ramping up production to cover the immediate gap that is created. “
Hospira and Amphastar did not return requests for comment. Epinephrine vials are still available from Amphastar and Woodcliff Lake, N.J.-based Par Pharmaceutical Cos.