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American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

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Member Alert: Manufacturers increasing cost of scarce saline solution

July 3rd, 2014

There appears to be no immediate relief for the nationwide shortage of sterile saline solution, a product used primarily in hospitals to clean wounds, mix medications and treat dehydration. In a recent issue of Kaiser Health Care News, manufacturers report they will not be able to catch up with demand until sometime next year. The FDA has approved imported saline from Spain and Norway to help ease the situation, but that will not solve the issue long-term since those countries must supply their own hospitals.

ASI partner Southern Anesthesia & Surgical, Inc. has been notified by their manufacturer, Hospira, that costs for various presentations of IV Fluids and Irrigation products will more than double, effective immediately. Hospira indicates that price increases on IV Fluids are required to improve profitability and provide for future investment; without the increases, Hospira indicates they would not be able to continue manufacturing these products.

At present, SAS has been able to obtain some of the FDA-approved saline solution from Spain. Although there are some minor differences between the products imported from Spain and saline solution manufactured by Hospira in the US, the products are similarly priced.