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Merck Suffers Drug Supply Interruption Headache - Again

Merck & Co. is facing another supply interruption for its ovulation-stimulating hormone Follistim, and like the supply lapse from several years ago, Merck has little to say.

A notice on the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) website indicates the drugmaker said in mid-May that all dose forms of its Follistim AQ Cartridges were on back order but didn’t give a reason.

Merck spokeswoman Megan Wilkinson said in an email this week, “I can confirm that we have informed customers that we are experiencing a supply shortage and we are working to re-supply Follistim as quickly as possible and expect that supply shortage will be resolved by July 1.” She said the drug is manufactured in the U.S. but did not say what led to the interruption.

Merck ran into a supply interruption with Follistim in 2012. In that situation, Merck also did not disclose the reason for the supply problems for Follistim AQ.

Of course, drug shortages tied to manufacturing interruptions are a fact of life in healthcare these days, with dozens of drugs in short supply at any one time. Currently, about 150 are listed by the University of Utah Drug Information Service.

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A notice on the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) website indicates the drugmaker said in mid-May that all dose forms of its Follistim AQ Cartridges were on back order but didn’t give a reason.

Merck spokeswoman Megan Wilkinson said in an email this week, “I can confirm that we have informed customers that we are experiencing a supply shortage and we are working to re-supply Follistim as quickly as possible and expect that supply shortage will be resolved by July 1.” She said the drug is manufactured in the U.S. but did not say what led to the interruption.

Merck ran into a supply interruption with Follistim in 2012. In that situation, Merck also did not disclose the reason for the supply problems for Follistim AQ.

Of course, drug shortages tied to manufacturing interruptions are a fact of life in healthcare these days, with dozens of drugs in short supply at any one time. Currently, about 150 are listed by the University of Utah Drug Information Service.

Read Full Article