NHS hospitals alerted about life-saving drug shortage

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHS England last month issued a “safety critical” national patient safety alert, warning about
the UK-wide shortage of a life-saving drug used to treat patients with chronic breathing issues.

NHS trusts, health authorities, ambulance services, GP practices, private healthcare providers, and community pharmacy contractors were informed that
salbutamol 2.5mg and 5mg nebuliser liquid unit dose vials are in short supply, with the latter likely to remain “out of stock” until mid-April 2024.

As per the alert, the shortage of the drug resulted from a combination of manufacturing issues, leading to heightened demand for alternative suppliers.

It was mentioned that while terbutaline, salbutamol with ipratropium, and ipratropium nebuliser liquids remained available, they could’t meet the increased demand.