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Pharma’s Puerto Rico problems could mean drug shortages – FDA chief

The head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Tuesday the country may start to see a small number of drug shortages within two or three weeks due to delays in restoring manufacturing operations in Puerto Rico, where 10 percent of drugs prescribed in the United States are made.

Hurricane Maria slammed into the Caribbean island on Sept. 20, knocking out electricity and causing widespread damage to homes and infrastructure. Almost three weeks later, just 16 percent of electricity service has been restored to the U.S. territory.

Drugmakers are working to get facilities fully online, but face an uncertain power supply and difficulty obtaining materials used in the manufacturing process.