The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that injectable drugs used in total parenteral nutrition (TPN) in critical shortage will now be imported into the United States from Norway and available to patients this week.
TPN is an intravenous food solution containing several drugs that have been in short supply, including trace elements, potassium phosphate, and sodium phosphate. Hospitals nationwide rely on TPN, which is primarily used to treat premature infants who are unable to eat or drink by mouth or who are experiencing other deficiencies. Cancer patients and those who have had gastrointestinal surgeries who are also unable to eat or drink by mouth have been affected by these shortages. The shortages are largely the result of a decision by American Regent/Luitpold, a large manufacturer of TPN products, to temporarily shut down at the end of 2012.
“While we have made progress on the critical issue of drug shortages, we remain extremely concerned about all current and potential drug shortages, and we are vigilant in our efforts so patients have access to the medicines they need, when they need them,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. “The FDA is doing all it can, using every tool we have to resolve and prevent drug shortages.”