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Ongoing shortages of albuterol sulfate inhalation solution



Reprinted courtesy of Healthcare Ready

WASHINGTON (March 1, 2023) Recently, Akorn Pharmaceuticals — one of the country’s leading manufacturers of albuterol sulfate inhalation solution commonly prescribed to more than 17 million Americans with symptoms of asthma, emphysema and other respiratory conditions — filed for bankruptcy and ceased all U.S. operations.

This places an even larger strain on the supply of albuterol sulfate single inhalation and combination solutions during this respiratory season, first noted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in October 2022 from Akorn Pharmaceuticals and Nephron Pharmaceuticals. As of March 1, 2023, these shortages are still marked as active.

Healthcare Ready — a nonprofit dedicated to ensuring patient access to health care in times of disasters — is currently engaged to provide assistance and coordination support efforts to help address ongoing shortages of albuterol sulfate inhalation solution. Executive director of Healthcare Ready Tom Cotter, MPH, attributes ongoing shortages of albuterol sulfate inhalation solution to:

  • Increase in overall demand for the jet nebulizer solution due to the confluence of respiratory illnesses (RSV, COVID-19, influenza)

  • Supply chain issues that have further disrupted supply.

“Healthcare Ready first became aware of the albuterol sulfate solution ongoing shortage in October 2022 as we became engaged in reporting on a surge in pediatric hospital admissions due to the confluence of RSV, influenza and COVID-19,” said Cotter.

Based on when manufacturers report they expect to return to normal operations (late Q2 2023), it is likely the supply of albuterol sulfite single inhalation and combination solutions will remain strained this respiratory season. If a second peak of cases and hospital admissions due to respiratory illnesses is observed before that time, there will be increased demand for both the single and combination inhaled solutions that could impact patient care,” said Cotter.

Healthcare Ready assists in coordinating public and private partners, including federal agencies involved in disaster response, state emergency operations centers, and health systems — hospitals, clinics, and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) — to assess health care needs and impacts by:

  • Connecting needs and resources between nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), nonprofits, and shelters for supplies/medicines and donations

  • Assessing potential risks to critical infrastructure and health care supply chains

  • Sharing resources and state-specific information to assist health care facilities, communities and individuals

  • Intelligence gathering and situational reporting


For the most recent updates about the ongoing shortage of albuterol sulfate inhalation solution, please visit healthcareready.org.

About Healthcare Ready Healthcare Ready is a nonprofit organization established in 2007 to help strengthen the U.S. health care system and assist communities in planning for, responding to, and recovering from disasters and disease pandemics. It serves as a linkage point between industry, and local, state, and federal governments to help build resilient communities and safeguard patients before, during, and after public health emergencies. For more information, visit healthcareready.org or on Twitter @HC_Ready.


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