Medical-Device Shortages Feared As Puerto Rico Struggles To Recover

Published: Oct 10, 2017

Federal officials and major drugmakers are scrambling to prevent national shortages of critical drugs for treating cancer, diabetes and heart disease, as well as medical devices and supplies, that are manufactured at 80 plants in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.

Pharmaceuticals and medical devices are the island’s leading exports, and Puerto Rico has become one of the world’s biggest centers for pharmaceutical manufacturing. Its factories make 13 of the world’s top-selling brand-name drugs, from Humira, the rheumatoid-arthritis treatment, to Xarelto, a blood thinner used to prevent stroke, according to a report released last year.

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