Antibiotics for infants and adults are likely to become scarce in America 2023


Pfizer notified physicians that it expects to run out of its formulations for infants and adults by June.

In a letter to physicians this week, the US drugmaker said it was running low on Bicillin, a long-acting injectable penicillin.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that adult syphilis rates rose over 30% in 2021, placing pressure on treatment supplies.

“The supply interruption is the result of a complex combination of factors including significant increases in demand, due to an increase in syphilis infection rates as well as competitive shortages,” Pfizer said in the letter provided by the FDA.

“In order to meet this increased demand, Pfizer has prioritised manufacturing capacity of Bicillin,” it noted.

It is one among the antibiotics used to treat common pediatric illnesse

According to the study, Pfizer claimed Bicillin is not extensively used in pediatrics since amoxicillin is favored for youngsters.

“The adult formulation of Bicillin L-A is the most important, as that is the only product available to treat pregnant patients with syphilis,” said University of Utah pharmacist Erin Fox, who studies drug shortages.

In utero, mothers can pass on syphilis. 50% of infected newborns die before or after delivery. Infections can cause permanent blindness or deafness in babies.

Chemotherapy medicine shortages occurred earlier this year. The US FDA has temporarily approved Chinese cancer medication imports to fulfill demand.

Pfizer claimed that supplies were stressed throughout the autumn and winter when amoxicillin ran out and doctors started prescribing Bicillin.

The US FDA “recognises the potential impact that lack of availability of certain products may have on health care providers and patients.”

The government is working with many manufacturers and others in the supply chain to identify, mitigate, and minimize the consequences of intermittent or limited product availability.

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