Antibiotics : the shortage threatens patients English

Health 2 July, 2017


Published the 02.07.2017 to 13h32


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In England, the shortage of one of the most antibiotics used in the hospital is worrying the doctors. Piperacillin-tazobactam is an antibiotic and antibacterial administered intravenously in intensive care. It is used to treat a wide variety of diseases, including cystic fibrosis, pneumonia, urinary tract infection, or neutropenia, a hematological disorder that occurs particularly in patients treated with chemotherapy.

A document from the system of public health authorities, the NHS, dating back to may explains that ” there is a high risk that in the nearest future piperacillin/tazobactam is not longer available. It is a major challenge to our prescribing practices “.

This document, which the Guardian had a copy, also explains that the use of other drugs in replacement of piperacillin/tazobactam may increase the workload of doctors and nurses, since some of these require more frequent doses, and monitor more carefully. “Unfortunately, there is no other practicable solution for the time being,” notes the document.

Shortage up in September

The shortage would be due to the explosion of a factory in China that produced the raw materials needed to manufacture the drug. According to Philip Howard, a spokesman for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, the Uk is experiencing supply problems since the month of march. The shortage could continue into July or even until September, according to sources.

England is not the only country affected by the shortage. Several other countries, including Switzerland (see this letter from the Chief of the secretariat of the domain therapeutic products), and Canada, have experienced problems of the supply of piperacillin/tazobactam. The shortage seems to be resolved in Canada according to the website Drug Shortages in Canada.

On the side of France, the national Security Agency of the drug, explains that our country has had ” tensions of supply on the market of the communities. A distribution quota was put in place. The discount available to normal is planned for the end of the 2nd quarter of 2017. “