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FDA’s Action Plan to Tackle Pfizer’s Damaged Plant and Drug Shortages

The aftermath of the EF-3 tornado that struck the Pfizer plant in Rocky Mount, N.C., has raised concerns about potential disruptions to the U.S. hospital drug market. However, according to the FDA’s assessment, there will not be immediate or significant disruptions. Despite the plant’s critical role as a supplier of a substantial portion of Pfizer’s sterile injectables for hospitals, as well as its 8 percent share of the hospital injectables market, measures are being taken to mitigate the impact on healthcare supply.

While the plant was the sole supplier of fewer than 10 drugs, the FDA believes that most of these drugs have substitutes available or significant stockpiles in other Pfizer warehouses. It’s important to note that the specific drugs produced at the North Carolina site cannot be publicly disclosed due to disclosure laws.

Pfizer has reported that the majority of the damage was limited to the facility’s storage unit rather than the manufacturing side. To prevent hoarding and local supply issues, the company has placed its products on “strict allocation.” This move ensures that the distribution of drugs remains fair and efficient during this challenging time.

In addition to Pfizer’s efforts, the FDA is taking proactive steps to minimize patient care disruptions. They are actively evaluating the inventory of products in Pfizer’s other warehouses and working with wholesalers and distributors to assess their stockpiles. Moreover, the FDA has reached out to other drug manufacturers, requesting them to increase the production of drugs that were previously manufactured at the affected facility and may now face shortages.

These collective efforts by Pfizer and the FDA aim to maintain a stable supply of crucial drugs for hospitals and patients across the United States. By ensuring substitute products are available and encouraging increased production of essential medications, the authorities are working to manage any potential challenges caused by the tornado’s impact on Pfizer’s manufacturing facility.


Dr. Oche Otorkpa PG Cert, MPH, PhD

Dr. Oche is a seasoned Public Health specialist who holds a post graduate certificate in Pharmacology and Therapeutics, an MPH, and a PhD both from Texila American University. He is a member of the International Society of Substance Use Professionals and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK. He authored two books: "The Unseen Terrorist," published by AuthorHouse UK, and "The Night Before I Killed Addiction."
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