LAKE FOREST, Ill., Feb. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Hospira, Inc. (NYSE: HSP), the world's leading provider of injectable drugs and infusion technologies, announced today that it began shipping 31,000 vials of 1-gram methotrexate to U.S. hospitals and treatment centers on Monday, enough for one month's U.S. demand. In addition, Hospira continues to work closely with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure that by mid-March the company will have produced enough supply of this life-saving drug for the full year. (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120221/CG56759) Methotrexate is an injectable drug used to treat a variety of cancerous and rheumatologic conditions, including acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a childhood blood cancer. Hospira began working to address the U.S. methotrexate shortage late last year by increasing production of the product when it first became aware of potential manufacturing challenges with other suppliers. Since then, Hospira has worked with the FDA to secure new supplies of the drug's active ingredient, and by mid-March will have manufactured enough 1-gram methotrexate to meet expected full market demand and also to begin establishing a safety stock to ensure patients and their families do not have to face fear of a shortage again. During an FDA briefing regarding progress on drug shortages today at the FDA's headquarters in White Oak, Md., Hospira CEO F. Michael Ball said: "Commissioner Hamburg, ladies and gentlemen, it is an honor for me to be here today to represent Hospira and to show our continued support to our patients and U.S. hospitals. Hospira, headquartered in Illinois, is the largest provider of generic injectable products in the world, and I am proud to announce that through our continued partnership with the FDA, we will be able to avert a drug shortage crisis for methotrexate.