February 28, 2020 / 3:56 AM / a month ago

U.S. regulator announces first shortage of drug related to coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: A computer image created by Nexu Science Communication together with Trinity College in Dublin, shows a model structurally representative of a betacoronavirus which is the type of virus linked to COVID-19, better known as the coronavirus linked to the Wuhan outbreak, shared with Reuters on February 18, 2020. NEXU Science Communication/via REUTERS

(Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday announced the first coronavirus-related drug shortage in the United States but declined to name the drug in question.

The regulator said a drugmaker had informed it of the shortage of one of its drugs because manufacturing of one of its main pharmaceutical ingredients was affected by the fast-moving virus outbreak.

The FDA said that there are alternatives that can be used by patients.

“We are working with the manufacturer as well as other manufacturers to mitigate the shortage. We will do everything possible to mitigate the shortage,” the regulator said in the statement.

While the FDA would not name the drug in question or the manufacturer, it did say that it had been recently added to the drug shortages list.

The FDA said this week that it identified about 20 drugs that either source all of their main ingredients from, or are finished in, China, and had contacted their manufacturers to gauge if they would face shortages due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Reporting by Michael Erman in New York and Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Robert Birsel

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