Teva to Resume Propofol Production
The welcome news should help alleviate shortages of the popular anesthetic.
Published: January 29, 2013
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries is reentering the propofol market after a nearly 3-year absence and should have product ready for distribution by the end of February, according to the American Society of Anesthesiologists.
Teva stopped production of the short-acting anesthetic in 2010 after being embroiled in legal trouble following the hepatitis C Las Vegas outbreak caused by unsafe injection practices at several endoscopy centers, including the reuse of syringes to access vials of propofol and the reuse of those vials on subsequent patients.
In February 2012, the pharmaceutical giant reportedly shelled out more than $250 million to settle more than 80 lawsuits alleging it sought to increase propofol-related profits by discontinuing the sale of 10ml vials suitable for endoscopy cases in favor of larger vials that encouraged physicians to reuse the drug for multiple cases.
A Teva spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The news of Teva's renewed production comes as part of the ASA's update on the scarcity of propofol, which says the FDA is doing everything in its regulatory power to address the shortage and anticipates steady improvements in supplies of the drug in the coming months.
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