“Health officials said that the tornado-caused damage to a Pfizer plant in North Carolina could cause future drug shortages in the United States.

On Wednesday, the Pfizer facility in Rocky Mount appeared to sustain a direct hit from what National Weather Service officials say was an EF-3 tornado, halting operations at the plant. The company has said that the plant makes about 25 percent of the firm’s sterile injection medicines that are used in U.S. hospitals…

The plant makes drugs for anesthesia, medicines that treat infections, and drugs needed for surgeries. The latter are used in surgeries or intensive care units for patients who are placed on ventilators, said Mike Ganio, who studies drug shortages at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

And hospitals across the U.S. have already seen shortages of sterile injectable drugs in recent months, said Tom Kraus, vice president of government relations at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. The tornado damage will make the shortage worse, he said.”