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Parents are Trying to Find Growth Hormone Amid Shortage

— June 14, 2023

Families are trying to find ways to get the growth hormone their children need.

Every day that a child who is unable to produce enough growth hormone goes without an injection, the rate of their potential growth is lowered. Hence, parents are filled with worry for the sake of their kids when there is a drug shortage. The restricted availability of medications that stimulate growth hormone production is becoming a major source of anxiety for many parents. 

Norditropin is an injectable growth hormone for humans that is manufactured by the Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk. The medicine is intended for use in children whose bodies do not produce enough levels of hormones required for normal growth.

Growth hormones stimulate growth as well as the regeneration and reproduction of cells. The anterior pituitary gland, which is about the size of a pea and is situated at the skull’s base, is the source of their natural release. Growth hormone deficiency, often known as GHD, shows symptoms of various hereditary illnesses like the Turner Syndrome and Prader-Willi syndrome. 

Growth Hormone Deficiency is more likely to impact children than adults. Children born with cleft palates are also at an increased risk for GHD. Infection, head trauma, or therapy with radiation are some of the potential causes of acquired GHD. 

Parents are Trying to Find Growth Hormone Amid Shortage
Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich from Pexels

Somatotropin is another name for a growth hormone that is produced by the body naturally. Somatropin, a synthetic growth hormone form, is administered to patients suffering from growth hormone synthesis problems or deficiencies. Among the symptoms that might be seen in youngsters is a failure to reach the weight and height growth norms. However, there is a concern due to the limited availability of the medications. On social media, parents have questioned whether the shortage is an indication that the medicine would eventually be taken off the market. 

The treatment for Albright hereditary osteodystrophy and severe scoliosis involves daily injections of this medication, which is also considered a regular therapy. The daily dosage of this medication may be in jeopardy if there are insufficient supplies of the medicine.  At an early stage, Novo Nordisk projected that the supply of the drugs will be fully restored by the month of February. After that, the estimate was pushed back to June. It is currently anticipated that the shortfall would continue until the year elapses.

Allison Schneider, a spokesperson for Novo Nordisk, wrote in an email to NPR that “unfortunately, unforeseen circumstances have resulted in longer than expected ramp-up time to expand capacity at our new production facility and meet the ever-increasing global demand for Norditropin.” Because of these manufacturing delays, there will continue to be periods of stock outs in the United States for all dose strengths of Norditropin until the year 2023. Product supply in the United States will be erratic as a result.

She stated that the company is working to expand its manufacturing capacity and anticipates that the supply will “stabilize” in the year 2024. “We understand how frustrating this situation is for the communities we serve and are doing everything we can to minimize the impact for everyone affected,” she said.


Families scramble to find growth hormone drug as shortage drags on

Families face human growth hormone shortage

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