By Matthew Perrone / Associated Press
The food solution contains trace drug ingredients, including potassium phosphate, which have been in short supply.
Drug shortages have increased dramatically in the U.S. over the past six years, particularly for generic injected drugs. They are the workhorses of hospitals but are difficult to make and produce little profit for drugmakers.
While once considered an extraordinary step, the FDA has been increasingly allowing imports from factories that don’t normally ship to the U.S.
Since 2010, the agency has allowed the importation of 14 drugs to combat U.S. shortages. Wednesday’s action will bring that number to 17, with addition of three new drugs used in nutritional formula.
There are currently 129 drug shortages in the U.S., according to the FDA.
The shortages are caused primarily by problems with sterility and other serious issues that have led to shutdowns of production lines and occasionally entire factories.
In addition, consolidation among generic drug manufacturers, as well as manufacturers deciding to end production of marginally profitable drugs, has led to decreased capacity.