A Netflix-esque antibiotic service and 12 more supply chain updates

From a purchase cap on pediatric medications to new flu treatment protocol, here are 13 supply chain updates for ASC leaders to know reported by Becker's since Dec. 13:

  1. Walgreens placed a cap on purchases of over-the-counter pediatric fever reducers to six, and CVS narrowed all of its children's pain relief medications to two per person. The FDA has not listed a national shortage of any specific pediatric pain medications, but it cited an increase in demand for multiple drugs used in young populations, including amoxicillin, amoxicillin and clavulanate, and children's Tylenol.


  1. TruePill, the preferred pharmacy of telehealth startup Cerebral, may have its ability to fill controlled substances revoked by the FDA over allegations that it wrongly filled 72,000 of prescriptions for controlled substances between September 2020 and September 2022. The company's CEO said the company plans to dispute the allegations. 


  1. Emerge Manufacturing — a newly founded personal protective equipment manufacturer — plans to open a 50,000-square-foot facility in Cincinnati in 2024 to manufacture face masks, surgical masks and N95 masks, among other PPE products, using fabric supplied by U.S. companies. The facility will also feature space medical professionals can use to provide training and information on health-related topics.


  1. The FDA added Eli Lilly's diabetes drugs Mounjaro and Trulicity to its list of medications in short supply Dec. 15. Pharmacies may receive delayed shipments for some doses in January due to increased demand. The company said it plans to double its manufacturing capacity for both drugs by the end of 2023. Competitor Novo Nordisk has also faced supply issues with its obesity drug Wegovy and diabetes treatment Ozempic. Demand for the treatments has skyrocketed after the drugs went viral on TIkTok for their weight loss benefits.


  1. In response to reports of shortages, the CDC issued interim guidance that recommended physicians prioritize flu patients at the highest risk of severe disease when treating with the antiviral oseltamivir. If oseltamivir is unavailable, the guidance says Tamiflu — the brand-name version of oseltamivir — oral baloxavir, inhaled zanamivir or intravenous peramivir can be used for early treatment of flu patients who are at increased risk of complications. 


  1. The FDA on Jan. 26 will convene a panel of outside experts to determine whether primary doses of COVID-19 vaccines should be updated to better handle omicron subvariants BQ.1.1 and BQ.1, which now make up about 3 in 4 infections in the U.S.


  1. Industry leaders shared with Becker's how they are tackling lingering effects of COVID-19 on ASCs, including supply chain issues, staffing shortages and more. 


  1. A bill proposing the federal government pay in advance for unlimited antibiotics, à la a Netflix subscription, has gotten renewed attention amid the ongoing shortage of amoxicillin. Here are more details on the PASTEUR Act.


  1. In response to difficulty finding personal protective equipment that meets hijabi standards, respiratory therapists Yasmin Samatar and Faraoli Adam — both Muslim women — started to produce their their own. The personal protective equipment can currently be purchased on their website at a discount to healthcare workers. 


  1. Ardent Health, a healthcare company that invests in 30 hospitals throughout six states, signed another exclusive contract with group purchasing organization HealthTrust. For the next 10 years, HealthTrust will exclusively supply its services to Ardent Health after decades of working together.


  1. As of Dec. 15, Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare, Tenet Healthcare and eight more hospitals and health systems are seeking supply chain expertise.


  1. Sunnyside, Wash.-based Astria Health will no longer offer certain cardiology services, including invasive and interventional cardiology, due to staffing issues and rising labor costs.


  1. Medical device company Coloplast agreed to settle a U.S. lawsuit for $14.5 million that claimed the Denmark-based company violated the Trade Agreements Act and the Price Reduction Clause and overbilled the Department of Veterans Affairs for some medical products. Coloplast self-disclosed that it reported incorrect countries of origin for multiple products and some of them remained on its contract with the VA after switching manufacturing locations to non­designated countries. 


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