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January 1, 2014

From JAMA’s Daily News Site

JAMA. 2014;311(1):18. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.285149

Supply and quality problems have put a key antibiotic for rheumatic fever out of reach in many parts of the world.

A recent review in Global Heart, a journal of the World Heart Federation, indicated that many physicians treating rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America have limited access to benzathine penicillin G. Rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease have become less prevalent in developed countries, and demand for the drug has declined as new antibiotics emerged. An estimated 471 000 cases of rheumatic fever and 230 000 deaths occur globally each year.

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