Drug Shortage

Shortage of trace elements for injection

World Health Organization publication

There are many trace elements humans obtain in the minute quantities they require simply by eating a variety of foods. When a person can’t eat them or a feeding tube is not an option, however, they must be injected. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists reports that those injectable trace elements are in short supply.

The FDA has used its recently acquired authority to import products from Norway to alleviate this shortage. Besides the usual safety issues arising from switching to unfamiliar products, the bar codes on the imported products don’t work in the American IT systems. You might have noticed that nurses scan many medications they administer both for the sake of the medical record and to check correctness.

The FDA is also concerned about unscrupulous people bringing counterfeit, unsafe, adulterated, or otherwise unapproved products into the US for sale.

Report any offers to sell Addamel N or Peditrace by an entity other than Fresenius Kabi to drugshortages@fda.hhs.gov. Fresenius Kabi USA will only be releasing product to the following distributors: Amerisource Bergen, McKesson, Cardinal, Morris & Dickson, and HD Smith.

Note that the distributors from which hospital pharmacists can count on obtaining authentic goods are listed by name.

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