The Drug Enforcement Administration today issued the following statement in response to concerns about potential shortages and drug production capabilities:
“In order to prevent any pharmaceutical drug shortage that negatively impacts patients, DEA is working closely with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, drug manufacturers, wholesale distributors and hospital associations to ensure that patients have access to necessary hospital-administered pain medications. These include certain injectable products that contain morphine, hydromorphone, meperidine, and fentanyl.
“In recent months, the largest U.S. manufacturer of these injectable products has slowed production at one of their manufacturing facilities in order to perform necessary and required upgrades. As a result, this company voluntarily surrendered a portion of their quota allotment and DEA reallocated these amounts to three DEA-registered manufacturers of FDA approved injectable products in accordance with DEA regulations. It is important to note that an increase in DEA procurement quotas to various manufacturers cannot alone prevent future shortages as DEA does not control the quantity or the speed by which manufacturers produce these or any of their products.
“DEA is communicating actively and directly with all entities impacted and is committed to making further adjustments to individual procurement quotas as necessary and will also consider other measures that may be necessary to address potential shortages for these products.”