Hospira returning to market with sedative propofol

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Hospira's ($HSP) inability to provide propofol has been one reason the sedative has been on shortage lists for some time. Now, Hospira says it should be back in the market with a significant supply by early next year, if not a bit before. Manufacturing issues noted in an FDA warning letter had led Hospira to interrupt production of the drug. But Hospira CEO Michael Ball told analysts this week that the company manufactured a limited supply of the drug in the third quarter at its plant in Clayton, CO, according to a transcript of the call from Seeking Alpha. He said Hospira will build its supply through this year. "We want to have an adequate supply of product prior to our reentry into the market, which we ultimately expect to be late this year or early next year," Ball said. Other companies, like German drugmaker Fresenius, have made out like bandits by upping production during the shortage, but there still has not been enough of the somewhat controversial drug to meet demand. Propofol was the drug implicated in the death of Michael Jackson, but it has also gained public attention as being considered for use in drug cocktails for executions as other drugs have become less available. Fresenius announced in September reduction in the number authorized distributors to limit access for its use in lethal injection. Transcript | More

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