Abbott Laboratories confirmed in Congress Wednesday that the company expects to close and close its closed facilities in the heart of a shortage of baby milk in a week and a half, setting a timetable for returning factory products to store shelves as soon as possible. mid-July.
During the hearing before the House Energy & Commerce subcommittee, Abbott Nutrition President Christopher Calamari reiterated that the company’s plant in Sturgis, Michigan, would resume production on June 4 and that it would take another six to eight weeks to produce the formula in The plant will be available to desperate parents to buy.
This timetable is later than what was previously said to lawmakers that products manufactured in Sturgis could be expected to hit the shelves again.
Earlier in the hearing, FDA Commissioner Robert Califf testified that Abbott had told him that baby milk from the Sturgis factory could be “on the shelf as early as the end of June, probably on June 20 or 22, assuming it would start [production] on the fourth “.
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President Biden recently invoked the Defense Production Act to address the shortfalls, and his government has begun sending formula from abroad to alleviate the crisis.
Abbott’s Sturgis plant has been closed since February amid a US Food and Drug Administration investigation into contamination concerns at the plant after four babies contracted bacterial infections after consuming the milk made at the plant. Two of the babies died.
The company recalled some factory-made products around the same time it closed and acknowledged that these actions contributed significantly to the lack of milk for babies. Abbott is the largest manufacturer of baby products in the country, with a market share of 40%. The Sturgis plant produced 40% of Abbott’s total formula before it closed.
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Abbott agreed to make several upgrades to the facility during shutdown in line with FDA recommendations, but argued that not all available data showed evidence that their formula was linked to infant disease.
Khalif also confirmed to lawmakers that his office could not prove any such connection.
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Since the plant closed in Michigan, Abbott says it has increased production at other facilities and shipped millions of formula boxes from its FDA-approved plant in Coothill, Ireland.
Kalamari told lawmakers that by the end of next month, he expects the company “to deliver more products in June than we did in January before the recall.”
Meanwhile, the out-of-stock interest rate in the formula continues to rise, reaching 45% nationally for the week ended May 15th.