Arizona, US-based Medivant Healthcare is a drug manufacturer focused on filling shortages of generic drugs used by hospitals and healthcare providers, according to the shortages reported by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The company announced that it will utilize the capacity of its 33,000-square-foot lab and manufacturing facility in Chandler, Arizona, to produce cardiac patient-focused generic drugs, including labetalol, metoprolol, diltiazem, and calcium chloride – specifically 40,000 vials of product per shift.
Moreover, Medivant has announced that it will produce these quantities under an automated manufacturing platform, with ‘minimal human intervention’.
Commenting on the shortages landscape, the manufacturer cited the example of local anesthetic, lidocaine, used consistently by hospitals.
“There are huge shortages of generic medicines like lidocaine because there is not enough capacity to meet the demand for the widespread applications of these drugs in hospitals and other healthcare centers,” said Viraj Gandhi, Medivant’s principal shareholder.
Medivant stated that all the drugs that it intends to manufacture were on the FDA’s shortage list, even before the present health emergency. However, the number of patients expected to be hospitalized due to the pandemic is projected to increase the shortages.
Fight for continuous supply of medicines
The increasing prevalence of COVID-19 has led regulatory agencies including the FDA to monitor the supply chain for drug shortages that may occur, with the US agency having already identified the first such shortage.
Disruptions to the supply chain were foreseen by industry experts, however, serious concerns were raised particularly after India, one of the main providers of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) globally, set 26 APIs under export restrictions.
On its side, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has not reported any shortages to date, despite this the agency stated that as the public health emergency develops, shortages or disruptions ‘cannot be excluded’.