During the recent propofol shortage, many anesthesia providers complained that the IV sedative-hypnotic's large, single-use-only vials led to excessive waste after short cases that required only small amounts of the drug. With the introduction of propofol packaged in smaller vials, however, a German pharmaceutical manufacturer has introduced an effective solution.
Fresenius Kabi is offering its Diprivan (propofol) injectable emulsion, USP, in 10mL vials, the first drug maker to do so. The company received FDA approval for the portioning, which joins its 20-, 50- and 100mL sizes, in June.
"The Diprivan 10mL presentation is designed with consideration for common dosing practices to support single patient use and reduce waste," says John Ducker, president and CEO of the company's U.S. division in Lake Zurich, Ill., in a statement. "This is particularly important for outpatient surgery centers where lower doses are commonly administered."
The size of propofol vials became a point of contention in the lawsuits that followed the 2008 Nevada hepatitis C outbreak. Manufacturer Teva Parenteral Medicines and distributors Baxter Healthcare and McKesson Medical Surgical were ordered to pay a group of infected patients $183.6 million in October 2011 after a judge agreed that 50mL and 100mL vials marketed without single-use-only restrictions encouraged an endoscopy center's staff to reuse the vials, and consequently cross-contaminate patients.