Latest drug shortage? Medication used to treat asthma in short supply

A shortage of albuterol, used to treat asthma and other respiratory illnesses, could worsen after a major manufacturer of the drug shut down.

Albuterol was placed on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s drug shortage list in October.

The drug is used to prevent and treat difficulty breathing, wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, and chest tightness caused by lung diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to Medline.

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Akorn, a generic drug maker which filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last month, shut down its facilities in New Jersey, New York and Illinois, CBS News reported. The closures leave only one domestic supplier of liquid albuterol fully operational in the U.S.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Wednesday the shortage is only for a “very specific dosage form of the medication generally used in hospitals.”

The FDA also says it has been “working closely with manufacturers and others in the supply chain for months to understand, mitigate and prevent or reduce any related impacts.”

Albuterol hasn’t been the only drug affected by supply chain disruptions.

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