Baxter says saline shipments disrupted in hurricane-wracked Puerto Rico

Baxter International reports that it has lost "multiple production days" in Puerto Rico that will affect its ability to restore shipments of dextrose and sodium chloride, also known as saline. The two products were already in short supply on the U.S. mainland. Baxter disclosed the delays in a September 22 letter to U.S.

Baxter International reports that it has lost "multiple production days" in Puerto Rico that will affect its ability to restore shipments of dextrose and sodium chloride, also known as saline. The two products were already in short supply on the U.S. mainland. Baxter disclosed the delays in a September 22 letter to U.S. hospitals and other customers, noting that it was still reviewing hurricane-related damage to its facilities. Health care facilities have already been dealing with shortages of the products due to manufacturing problems and other issues. Earlier this year, Baxter said the antitrust division of the Department of Justice was looking into shortages of I.V. solutions, including saline, as well as manufacturing, selling, and pricing of the products. On Wednesday, a Baxter spokesperson said the previous shortages were largely for large-volume containers of I.V. solutions, which are not manufactured in Puerto Rico. The versions from Puerto Rico come in smaller containers and are primarily intended to be mixed with medications. The company also noted that it took precautionary steps by transporting finished products off of Puerto Rico before the hurricane hit. According to Baxter, all of its sites experienced some damage, and repairs are being made. The company said it hopes to resume limited production "in the next few days."