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BCG Vaccine Live Intravesical

[22 August 2014]

Products Affected - Description

TheraCys Intravesical Injection, Sanofi Pasteur1
81 mg lyophilized powder (NDC 49281-0880-03)

Tice BCG Intravesical Injection, Merck2
50 mg, lyophilized powder (NDC 00052-0602-02)

Reason for the Shortage

  • Sanofi Pasteur states the reason for the shortage is manufacturing delay.1
  • Merck states the reason for the shortage is manufacturing delay.2
  • Merck states Tice BCG vaccine percutaneous for tuberculosis (Merck, NDC 00052-0603-02) is also affected because this product is manufactured at the same facility.2

Available Products

Insufficient supply for usual ordering.

Estimated Resupply Dates

  • Sanofi Pasteur has TheraCys 81 mg vials for intravesical injection on back order and the company estimates a release date in second quarter of 2015.1
  • Merck has Tice BCG 50 mg vials for intravesical injection on back order and the company estimates a release date of October 2014. Orders must be placed with wholesaler and product is available by drop shipment only.2

Implications for Patient Care

BCG live intravesical contains live attenuated mycobacteria and is labeled for the treatment and prophylaxis of carcinoma in situ of the urinary bladder.3-5 BCG live intravesical is also labeled for prophylaxis of primary or recurring stage Ta or T1 papillary tumors following transurethral resection.3-5

Safety

  • BCG live is biohazardous as it contains live, attenuated mycobacteria. This poses additional safety risks both for patients and for healthcare workers handling these agents.5,6
  • Use additional caution when processing orders for chemotherapy drugs, especially when switching between chemotherapy agents or when processing orders for chemotherapy agents with which staff may be unfamiliar (eg, those not normally prescribed at a specific institution).5,6
  • Tice BCG vaccine percutaneous for tuberculosis is not a substitute for BCG live intravesical.2
  • Use preservative-free 0.9% sodium chloride to dilute BCG live intravesical. Avoid bacteriostatic 0.9% sodium chloride solution.3-5

Alternative Agents & Management

  • The choice of an alternative agent must be patient-specific and based on renal function, liver function, and the neoplasm type and location. No single agent can be substituted for BCG live.5-7
  • Consult a Hematology/Oncology specialist for patient- and neoplasm-specific recommendations.
  • Refer to the ASHP Guidelines on Managing Drug Product Shortages for more guidance on developing a multidisciplinary plan when the supply must be allocated. 

Related Shortages

References

  1. Sanofi Pasteur (personal communications and website). May 8, 21 and 31, June 20, July 13, August 8, September 19, and November 7, 2012; January 28, March 18, May 17, July 18, September 18, and December 4, 2013; January 31, March 1, June 10, and July 23, 2014.
  2. Merck (personal communications). May 9, 21 and 31, June 20, July 13, August 8, September 19, and November 7, 2012; January 28, March 18, May 17, July 18, September 23, and December 4, 2013; February 3, April 7, June 10, and August 7, 15, and 22, 2014.
  3. Sanofi Pasteur. TheraCys (BCG live intravesical) Injection, [product information]. Swiftwater, PA: Sanofi Pasteur; 2011.
  4. Merck. Tice BCG (BCG live intravesical) Injection, [product information]. West Point, PA: Merck, 2009.
  5. Beckwith MC, Tyler LS, eds. Cancer Chemotherapy Manual. St. Louis, MO: Wolters Kluwer Health Inc. 2012.
  6. Antineoplastic agents. In: McEvoy GK, ed. AHFS 2010 Drug Information. Bethesda, MD: American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists; 2010: 902-1260.
  7. Drug Facts and Comparisons Online. St. Louis, MO: Wolters Kluwer Health Inc. May 2012.

Updated

Updated August 22, 2014 by Elyse A. MacDonald, PharmD, Drug Information Specialist. Created May 9, 2012, by Jane Chandramouli, PharmD, Drug Information Specialist. Copyright 2014, Drug Information Service, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT.

Disclaimer

This information is provided through the support of Novation to ASHP solely as a service to its members, which shall not use this information for their further commercial use. The content was prepared by the Drug Information Center of University of Utah. Novation, ASHP, and the University of Utah make no representations or warranties, express or implied, including, but not limited to, any implied warranty of merchantability and/or fitness for a particular purpose, which respect to such information, and specifically disclaim all such warranties. Users of this information are advised that decisions regarding the use of drugs and drug therapies are complex medical decisions and that in using this information, each user must exercise his or her own independent professional judgment. Neither Novation, ASHP nor the University of Utah assumes any liability for persons administering or receiving drugs or other medical care in reliance upon this information, or otherwise in connection with this bulletin. Neither Novation, ASHP nor University of Utah endorses or recommends the use of any drug.

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