FDA clears more saline imports to address shortage

Federal health regulators are allowing a U.S. medical supply company to import saline solution from its Spanish plant to address a national shortage of the hospital staple.

The Food and Drug Administration announcement is the latest effort to increase U.S. supplies of the salt solution, which is used to rehydrate hospital patients and assist in the delivery of drugs.

The agency said late Monday that it cleared Baxter Healthcare to import from its facility in Spain after FDA inspectors verified that it meets U.S. standards. Last month the FDA cleared another company, Fresenius Kabi, to import saline from its Norway plant.

The FDA began receiving reports of a supply problem from hospitals in December due to production delays, maintenance problems and other issues.

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