APP taps parent Fresenius' facilities to boost propofol supply

APP Pharmaceuticals ($APPX) has boosted production of propofol, long on the FDA's list of drugs in short supply, and reports its two versions of the drug are "readily available."

The drugmaker, a subsidiary of Fresenius Kabi Pharmaceuticals ($APCVZ), said in a release it "significantly increased production to supply the U.S. market." The increase resulted from APP working with its parent company to begin production at Fresenius' FDA-approved facilities in Europe, spokeswoman Debra Lynn Ross said by telephone .

The drugs--APP Diprivan (propofol 1%) and APP Propofol 1%, an authorized generic Diprivan--are "sufficiently stocked at wholesalers and distributors nationwide," according to an update of the FDA's drug shortages list.

Hospira, another propofol maker that has encountered supply issues [see related story], also reports "ample levels of inventory to support market demand" for the anesthetic.

Former propofol maker Teva announced its exit from the business in May 2010, citing difficult manufacturing processes and slim profit margins. Its exit coincided roughly with the start of numerous lawsuits it faces following a hepatitis C outbreak in Nevada after a colonoscopy provider reused large single-use vials of the drug.   

- see the release
- here's the FDA listing