Update on Formula Shortages and Delays

Brooke Phillips, CWCMS
Editor | Shield HealthCare
11/23/22  5:00 PM PST
formula shortages

Navigating Formula-Related Challenges

For more than a year, Shield HealthCare has been managing formula-related challenges beyond our control. Our formula and enteral nutrition supply manufacturing partners continue to experience significant delays, backorders and shortages. In fact, just this past week, formula manufacturers notified us of supply chain issues for several additional products.

These issues include:

1. Production slowdowns due to labor shortages. Without enough labor to run the manufacturing plants, production has slowed down for many manufacturers.

2. Transportation delays. High demand, a lack of new drivers, and retiring older drivers all contribute to transportation delays. Other factors within the logistics industry, such as new digital requirements and improving cybersecurity, are also having an impact on transportation’s ability to meet the public need.

3. Production shifts to manage backorders.  Many manufacturers are pausing the production of lower-volume, specialty formulas in order to catch up on backorders of their high-demand formulas. This is a very serious issue for the healthcare industry and for those who rely on specialty formulas to meet their unique medical needs.

4. Prioritization of products to hospitals and retailers. Because manufacturers understand how critical it is that hospitals receive their specialty formulas, formula is prioritized and sent to hospitals first. Keeping formula on shelves is also a very high priority for manufacturers. This leaves many organizations like Shield working hard for a limited supply.

5. Raw material shortages. Across the globe, a shortage of raw materials has rippled across every industry. Reasons for this include rising demand from the pandemic-related economic downturn, lower production capabilities of raw material suppliers, and conflict (war).

6. Difficulty sourcing packaging materials. The raw materials shortage has led to challenges simply packaging products for shipment.

All of these challenges are impacting manufacturer supply, which in turn impact our ability to serve you to our expectations. We are not alone: logistic challenges, significant shortages and long term backorders of many commonly-used nutritional formulas and enteral nutrition supplies are impacting the entire homecare market.


Additional Details from the Manufacturer Regarding Shortages

Below are some of the communications Shield HealthCare is receiving from manufacturers regarding their formula shortages. Please note that dates in the letters frequently do not align with when Shield HealthCare receives formula, and our on-staff Registered Dietitians do not always agree with suggested substitute specialty formulas.


What To Expect From Shield HealthCare

On a daily basis, Shield HealthCare is sourcing additional products to offer you alternative formulas. We are also working diligently with our suppliers to maximize our inventory and build stock whenever possible. We have dedicated teams working tirelessly on bringing in formula supplies, and our on-staff Registered Dietitians are working around the clock to find alternative formulas to meet your unique medical needs.

Shield HealthCare is here to support you. Please contact us at 800.228.7150 with any questions or concerns.

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