It's often given to patients with breathing issues and those diagnosed with asthma, but a shortage of the drug albuterol is causing concern from pharmacies to hospitals. 

Albuterol products have been in short supply since October 2022, according to the FDA, and the liquid version of the drug used in nebulizers has been in a supply decline since last summer — according to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP)

So what's the reason? Truthfully, there are only a couple of answers.

The ASHP reports albuterol manufacturer Akron ceased their operations in February — a report from CNN shows Akron filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2020. A press release announcing the bankruptcy was sent out in May of that year. 

"Nephron Pharmaceuticals has albuterol inhalation solution on shortage due to a manufacturing issue," reasoning from the ASHP website reads. Mylan (Viatris) Pharmaceuticals and Sun Pharmaceuticals did not provide a reason.

"This is definitely concerning, especially as we are coming out of the respiratory season where we had a big demand with RSV, Covid-19 and flu, and are now heading into spring allergy season when a lot of kids and adults experience asthma symptoms," Dr. Janita Mora, spokesperson for the America Lung Association and allergist and immunologist in Chicago, told CNN. "This is a life-saving drug and being able to breathe is vital for everyone."

And a report from NewsNation reads, "The U.S. relies heavily on foreign countries, including China and India, for pharmaceutical ingredients and drugs, and the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for domestic supply chains."

Nephron Pharmaceuticals is currently the only albuterol supplier in the U.S.

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