Log in
Forgot password ?
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
Dynamic quotes 

4-Traders Homepage  >  Equities  >  Nyse  >  Pfizer    PFE

Mes dernières consult.
Most popular
News SummaryMost relevantAll newsofficial PublicationsSector newsTweets
OFFRE ETE Zonebourse : Jusqu'à 6 mois offerts sur tous les portefeuilles

Pfizer : Shortage of life-saving IV bags challenges Bay Area, U.S. hospitals

share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
share via e-mail
11/10/2017 | 09:35pm CEST

Nov. 10--It's usually one of the first items you'll see after you enter a hospital room: a small, clear plastic bag filled with a saline or sugar-water solution, hanging above a loved one's bed.

But a serious shortage of the bags used to inject drugs intravenously is now alarming many Bay Area hospitals after Hurricane Maria in September slammed into Puerto Rico and shut down production at three plants owned by Baxter International, which makes a large percentage of the IV bags used in the United States.

In his 35 years as a hospital pharmacist, Martin Iyoya has never seen anything like the current scarcity.

"We have had shortages, but not like what we are seeing now," said Iyoya, director of pharmacy services at John Muir Health in Walnut Creek and Concord.

John Muir doesn't even rely on Baxter; Pfizer is its main supplier. But the blow to the Baxter plants set off a chain reaction that eventually reduced Pfizer's supplies.

"Every hospital is impacted to one degree or another," said Amanda Chawla, who oversees the supply chain at Stanford Health and is working 24/7 to ensure there are enough bags on hand for the next several months. "We have seen back orders of IV solution but not at this magnitude," she said. "This is a wake-up call."

On Thursday, the American Hospital Association and five prominent medical societies wrote a congressional subcommittee and partially blamed the current shortage on the fact that pharmaceutical companies are not required under federal or state laws to disclose information about which drugs they manufacture at which plants and where those plants are located.

"This lack of transparency puts health care systems at a significant disadvantage when trying to take a proactive approach to handling a potential drug shortage," the groups wrote.

Even before Maria hit Puerto Rico as a Category 4 hurricane on Sept. 20, IV bags were often hard to get, hospital industry officials say.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, acknowledged as much in an Oct. 13 statement that noted that the bags have been in short supply since 2014.

Because of consolidation in the pharmaceutical industry, experts say, there are fewer IV bag producers, while FDA-ordered upgrades to certain manufacturing facilities have sometimes temporarily halted production of the bags in the mainland U.S.

Even though other manufacturing plants exist, Gottlieb said, "the agency and Baxter recognized that further shortage of this product could potentially put U.S health care at risk."

The small plastic bags are mainstays in hospitals, ambulances and dialysis clinics. Saline solutions are used to clean wounds and rehydrate patients intravenously. Dextrose solutions are used to help rehydrate patients and treat low blood sugar. The solutions are essential to safely inject drugs ranging from antibiotics to cancer-fighting medication.

John Muir goes through 6,000 small IV bags a month, while Stanford Health and its affiliates require about 40,000 monthly.

While the FDA has approved importing the IV bags from Baxter manufacturing plants in Ireland and Australia to reduce some of the shortage, the hospital industry believes that will only meet 10 to 15 percent of current demand.

In the meantime, hospitals across the U.S. are being allocated just enough IV bags based on what they have used in the past, said Roslyne Schulman, director for policy development at the Washington, D.C.-based American Hospital Association.

But, she said, the rationing doesn't take into account the possibility of a severe U.S. flu season this year -- or an even worse scenario such as a pandemic. An unexpected rise in seriously ill flu patients, she said, would require hospitalization and IV fluids to help treat patients, further challenging suppliers.

On Tuesday, the hospital association issued a strongly worded letter to the FDA's Gottlieb, calling the shortage of IV bags "unacceptable." The group said that the shortages force workarounds in hospitals that experts say are labor-intensive and could introduce unnecessary risk.

One of the most common workarounds is taking larger-volume IV bags and filling smaller ones. Nurses are also using syringes rather than IV drips to inject drugs.

In its letter, the hospital association said it "is concerned that patients could face harm" if the severe shortages -- predicted to last at least through March -- are not resolved quickly.

"There is a huge concentration of drug manufacturers in Puerto Rico, but we don't know what they make or in what amounts or where because it's proprietary information," the association's Schulman told the Bay Area News Group. "The only time we find out is when a plant goes down."


(c)2017 the San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)

Visit the San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.) at www.mercurynews.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

© Tribune Content Agency, source Regional News

share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
share via e-mail
Latest news on PFIZER
06/16PFIZER : WHO approves Ghana trachoma free
06/16PFIZER : The New York Academy of Medicine Honors Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall, Dr. Ruth ..
06/15ViiV Healthcare`s two-drug HIV regimen successful in late-stage studies; Glax..
06/15PFIZER : John Witzig Named to NBAA Board of Directors
06/15NOVO NORDISK A/S : Keynote Speakers Announced for 2018 Annual Meeting & Expo
06/15ViiV's two-drug HIV regimen meets in Phase III for HIV
06/14PFIZER : New Findings from Pfizer in the Area of Algorithms Reported (Time Serie..
06/14PFIZER : Study Data from Pfizer Provide New Insights into Macular Edema (A CCR2/..
06/14PFIZER : Trademark Application for "ESTEMIQ" Filed by Pfizer
06/14PFIZER : An Application for the Trademark "TALKING UC" Has Been Filed by Pfizer
More news
News from SeekingAlpha
06/14ViiV Healthcare's two-drug HIV regimen successful in late-stage studies; Glax.. 
06/13With Mylan's Neulasta Biosimilar Approval, Focus Moves To Advair And Restasis 
06/13SANGAMO THERAPEUTICS : Investibility Outlook 
06/12Xeris Pharmaceuticals To Raise $75 Million In IPO 
06/12May Update For My 92 Investment Rose Portfolio With Bonus Add On Future Purch.. 
Financials ($)
Sales 2018 54 404 M
EBIT 2018 20 780 M
Net income 2018 12 874 M
Debt 2018 21 840 M
Yield 2018 3,76%
P/E ratio 2018 16,72
P/E ratio 2019 15,13
EV / Sales 2018 4,31x
EV / Sales 2019 4,13x
Capitalization 213 B
Duration : Period :
Pfizer Technical Analysis Chart | PFE | US7170811035 | 4-Traders
Technical analysis trends PFIZER
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
Income Statement Evolution
Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 22
Average target price 39,9 $
Spread / Average Target 9,6%
EPS Revisions
Ian C. Read Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Albert Bourla Chief Operating Officer & Director
Frank A. D'Amelio Chief Financial Officer & EVP-Business Operations
Freda C. Lewis-Hall Chief Medical Officer & Executive Vice President
W. Don Cornwell Independent Director
Sector and Competitors
1st jan.Capitalization (M$)
PFIZER-0.17%212 690
JOHNSON & JOHNSON-12.21%328 858
NOVARTIS-8.25%193 446
ROCHE HOLDING LTD.-14.06%183 969
MERCK AND COMPANY10.24%166 880
AMGEN6.39%122 422