Three weeks after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, little is known about the extent to which the storm will affect production and supply of prescription drugs. Other than saying recovery will take time, most large drug makers have disclosed little to nothing about the status of their facilities.
However, we have obtained an internal document showing the status of seven Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) production facilities encompassing about 1.5 million square feet that were affected. And as one might expect, the situation is uncertain. All but one of the plants is open, thanks to generators, but connectivity remains an issue and so production will vary considerably from location to location.
For instance, plants in Las Piedras, Gurabo, and Manati are not expected to fully ramp up until later this month, according to the Oct. 5 progress report. A J&J spokesman acknowledged the “potential for intermittent shortages” of certain products, but noted that many are produced in dual locations outside of Puerto Rico that can help meet demand. Production, meanwhile, is being prioritized on the island.