A nationwide albuterol shortage is expected to worsen after a US-based pharmaceutical company shuttered its business in February 2023. The company, Akorn, was one of two US manufacturers of liquid albuterol. Its closure leaves Nephron Pharmaceuticals as the last remaining albuterol manufacturer in the United States, CNN reports.

According to CNN, Akorn was the only company to make certain albuterol products used for continuous nebulizer treatment, common in children’s hospitals.

According to the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP), three manufacturers have provided an update on their drug supply:

  • Mylan (Viatris) has albuterol sulfate 0.083% inhalation solution in 3 mL 25 count packages on intermittent back order and the company is releasing supplies as they become available.
  • Nephron has albuterol sulfate 0.083% and 0.5% inhalation solution on back order and the company estimates a release date in March 2023.
  • Sun Pharma has albuterol sulfate 0.083% inhalation solution on allocation.

The FDA added albuterol to its Drug Shortages Database in October 2022. The ongoing shortage, now exacerbated by Akorn’s closure, means hospitals will have to find alternative sources of the drug.

CNN reported that the Children’s Hospital Association has begun working with STAQ Pharma to start albuterol production for children’s hospitals. The association told CNN that STAQ should be at full production by May.

Jessica Daley, the group vice president of strategic sourcing for Premier, said that she doesn’t anticipate that the albuterol shortage will be an ongoing problem for years, but when the market has only a handful of suppliers, “it makes for a very tight market, a very concerning market right now.”

Source: CNN

albuterol shortage