Pfizer warns of Shortage of Penicillin Products

Pfizer warns of Shortage of Penicillin Products

(The Hill) – Reports of the effects of ongoing drug shortages impacting the U.S. have been widely reported. With no relief in sight, Pfizer issued another warning to the FDA on Monday, indicating that these shortages are now threatening to exhaust two commonly used forms of penicillin.

Pfizer has alerted the FDA that there is “a limited supply and impending stock out” of Bicillin L-A and Bicillin C-R, which are two of its injectable penicillin products.

Bicillin L-A is used to treat strep infections in the nose, throat, or skin; syphilis or syphilis-like infections; and also to prevent problems stemming from strep. Bicillin C-R is also used to treat strep infections in the throat, nose, skin or soft tissues as well as scarlet fever, pneumonia and ear infections.

Bicillin injections have been referred to as the “peanut butter shot” in the military due to the colour of the drug. In this moment, neither of these drugs are available in lower-cost generic forms.

Pfizer cited a “complex combination of factors” for the shortage, including an increase in demand as well as a rise in syphilis rates.

The company estimated that supplies of Bicillin C-R would be depleted around the third quarter of this year, while pediatric pre-filled syringes of Bicillin L-A would be depleted even earlier.

–with files from


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