(CBS) — A baking soda shortage could cause problems for hospitals.

WBBM’s Rob Hart explains.

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Sodium bicarbonate is more commonly known as baking soda, but it’s also a key ingredient in some drugs.

The breakdown in the supply chain started last September at a manufacturing plant in North Carolina and has since rippled throughout the pharmaceutical industry.

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Forbes health writer Bruce Japsen tells the WBBM Noon Business Hour health care providers can rely on stockpiles until suppliers catch up later this year.

“They do have stockpiles, but it is definitely something to keep an eye on,” Japsen says.

Sodium bicarbonate is used to treat a variety of diseases and conditions.

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