The FDA is working with providers, manufacturers and distributors to head off potential saline shortages during flu season, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said Thursday.
The season began earlier than expected, and the predominant strain of the virus has caused more severe health complications than those associated with H1N1-predominant seasons.
The agency has received reports of spot shortages of antivirals used to treat the flu, but there is no nationwide shortage at this time, Gottlieb said. The FDA will continue to monitor supply, as well as influenza vaccine supplies, in case such a shortage emerges.
In the meantime, shortages of IV saline bags persist, particularly because of the impact of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico’s medical products manufacturing capabilities. Despite progress on the saline shortage, demand has spiked due to the worse-than-normal flu season, Gottlieb said.