Coronavirus outbreak could cause shortages of 150 drugs: report

A worsening coronavirus outbreak reportedly could threaten shortages of about 150 prescription drugs, several of them with no alternatives.

China’s role in supplying the ingredients used in medications means that decreased Chinese production capability amid the outbreaks could threaten supplies of the drugs, which include antibiotics, generics, and branded drugs, two sources familiar with a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) list of at-risk drugs told Axios.

The FDA did not directly comment on the list but said it was "keenly aware that the outbreak could impact the medical product supply chain” and is working to identify potential vulnerabilities connected with it, according to Axios.

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The agency is also coordinating with other regulators such as the European Medicines Agency, and said that while no FDA-approved vaccines, blood derivatives or gene-therapies, it is monitoring any raw materials for such products manufactured in China and other southeastern Asian nations.

"If a potential shortage or disruption of medical products is identified by the FDA, we will use all available tools to react swiftly and mitigate the impact to U.S. patients and health care professionals," an FDA spokesperson told Axios. The Trump administration has assembled a task force to respond to the coronavirus, but FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn is not among its appointees.