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News From the Food and Drug Administration
February 2, 2000

Alternative Supply of Penicillin G

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JAMA. 2000;283(5):596. doi:10.1001/jama.283.5.596

Last June, a major finished product manufacturer of penicillin G (potassium and sodium) in the United States recalled its penicillin G injection products and ceased their distribution. (For details see http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/safety/1999/penici.htm.)

To remedy the resulting shortage, the FDA has identified Biochemie GmbH of Kundl, Austria, as a temporary alternative supplier of penicillin G sodium. The product is labeled and distributed by Geneva Pharmaceuticals Inc in Broomfield, Colo, which is operating under a drug shortage allocation program. Limited supplies are available through regular US wholesale suppliers. While the shortage lasts, physicians are advised to use, where possible, alternative approved therapies instead of penicillin G.

The contact for emergency allocations of penicillin G sodium is Jenny Whitehouse at Geneva Pharmaceuticals Inc, at (303) 438-4399 (telephone); (303) 727-4556 (fax); or jenny.whitehouse@gx.novartis.com (e-mail). An alternative source of penicillin G potassium in frozen bags is Baxter Corp (Web site, http://www.baxter.com). The FDA will continue monitoring this issue until its resolution.