FDA teams with medical companies in Puerto Rico to tackle shortages

Joel Munoz Coreano, MD, helps Melba Tirado with her medication as he checks in on hurricane survivors who are cutoff coming from easy access to medical aid inside wake of the devastation left across the island by Hurricane Maria on October 5, 2017 in Utuado, Puerto Rico.

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Joel Munoz Coreano, MD, helps Melba Tirado with her medication as he checks in on hurricane survivors who are cutoff coming from easy access to medical aid inside wake of the devastation left across the island by Hurricane Maria on October 5, 2017 in Utuado, Puerto Rico.

The head of the U.S. Food along with Drug Administration said the agency was working with several
pharmaceutical along with medical device companies in Puerto Rico to prevent shortages of medical products inside United States as which joins a massive effort to help rebuild the island which was
ravaged by Hurricane Maria.

Drugmakers are working to get facilities fully online after the storm slammed into the Caribbean island on Sept. 20, knocking out electricity along with causing widespread damage to homes
along with infrastructure.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the agency has been monitoring more than 40 drug products in Puerto Rico, where 10 percent of the drugs prescribed inside United States are made.

The agency is usually also working closely with about 10 medical device makers to prevent shortages, particularly of blood-related medical devices, inside United States.

Gottlieb said last week which the United States may face a modest number of drug shortages due to delays in restoring manufacturing operations inside island.

There are currently more than 50 medical device generating plants in Puerto Rico, employing about 18,000 people.

The regulator is usually taking steps to mitigate shortages by importing devices coming from outside the United States or allowing manufacturers to shift production to alternative sites, the FDA
said.

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