FDA: No ‘immediate significant impacts’ expected on supply due to Pfizer plant damage

FDA: No 'immediate significant impacts' expected on supply due to Pfizer plant damage

The Pfizer pharmaceutical plant severely damaged by a tornado this week in North Carolina will have no “immediate significant impacts” on drug supply chains, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Friday.

“We do not expect there to be any immediate significant impacts on supply given the products are currently at hospitals and in the distribution system, but this is a dynamic situation and FDA staff are in frequent communication with Pfizer and other manufacturers,” FDA commissioner Robert Califf said in a statement.

The manufacturing plant near Rocky Mount, North Carolina, was severely damaged by an EF3 tornado on Wednesday, with winds of about 150 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service.

The plant is responsible for about 25 percent of the company’s sterile injectable medicines and some feared that the damage could worsen shortages of medicines in hospitals across the country.

Califf said that other manufacturers will be able to make up for the loss of the facility while it is being repaired. There are 10 drugs which are only made at the North Carolina facility, he said, but reserves at Pfizer warehouses should be enough to avoid any shortages, he said.

“This incident underscores that a robust, resilient and safe drug supply chain is essential for public health and national security,” the FDA statement reads. “Redundancy of manufacturing locations … and of suppliers is important to mitigate risks to supply that can occur from natural disasters, geopolitical conflicts, or other less predictable events.”

The FDA is working with Pfizer to complete a more extensive assessment of the tornado damage to the facility and any impacts on supply chains in the coming days, the agency said.

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