Pfizer returns Xanax to UAE

Xanax is back in the United Arab Emirates.

The drug was in short supply for weeks after a change in where the anti-anxiety drug is manufactured. Pfizer ($PFE) promised Xanax would be in the hands of suppliers within 24 hours and to pharmacies and hospitals shortly thereafter, The National reports.

One distributor says the problem was related to getting a new manufacturing plant approved by authorities after production of the drug was moved from Italy to Germany.

Drug shortages, many of them tied to manufacturing issues, have become increasingly common around the world, affecting everything from essential cancer therapies to over-the-counter medications. A production slowdown at a Sandoz plant in Canada and the closing of the Ben Venue plant in Ohio--to name just two examples--have been tied to multiple drug shortages. The Canadian shortages have sparked a debate over whether regulatory actions should be taken.

In the UAE, approval was expedited to resolve the situation. The director of pharmaceutical registration and control for the health ministry, Dr. Fatma Al Braiki, said approval was granted when it was requested last week. A Pfizer spokesman thanked authorities for quick work and helping "to avoid a severe prolonged shortage of this medicine from the market."

- check out the story from The National