“These storms have hit hard in areas where there are a significant number of farmers, food distributors, and medical product manufacturers, including Houston, Florida, and now Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands,” Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the FDA’s commissioner, said in a Sept. 22 announcement.
“Thankfully, to date, no critical shortages have been identified in areas impacted by Harvey and Irma,” Gottlieb said. “The FDA is currently working closely with pharmaceutical and device companies with manufacturing sites in Puerto Rico to prevent shortages of medically necessary drugs and devices.”
The FDA is also communicating about safe handling of food and medical products impacted by the storms, according to Gottlieb.
“This information is important to the people who use them as well as the industry that produces them, and is aimed at avoiding unnecessary illnesses, avoiding wasting good medicines, preventing drug and food shortages, and addressing crop losses,” Gottlieb said.
The hurricanes are expected to have a net 1% impact on U.S. medical device revenue during the third quarter, Barclay’s analyst Matt Taylor reported last week.
Hurricane Maria was an especially tough hit for the industry because Puerto Rico is home to facilities for major medtech players including Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), Amgen (NSDQ:AMGN), Merck, Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) , Abbott (NYSE:ABT), Stryker (NYSE:SYK) and dozens of other, according to Bloomberg.