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10/26/1999

Penicillin G Potassium for Injection To Remain in Short Supply

Cheryl A. Thompson

Vials of penicillin G potassium for injection are in short supply, if available at all, and will likely remain so.

Pfizer Inc., maker of Pfizerpen, announced in early October that the company has no supplies of its penicillin product and does not expect to have any available until fourth quarter 2000. In a letter to pharmaceutical buyers and health care professionals, the company attributed its product shortage to temporary cessation of production of a generic version by another company and shutdown of the only manufacturing facility approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to supply sterile bulk penicillin G potassium. 

The manufacturer of the generic product, Marsam Pharmaceuticals Inc., a subsidiary of Schein Pharmaceutical Inc., announced in August that the FDA had noted “a number of significant deficiencies in good manufacturing practices” and that the company had begun recalling products. Marsam said it had also suspended manufacturing and testing activities.