The non-profit Access to Medicine Foundation (AMF) said there was an emerging crisis in the global anti-infectives market as fragile drug supply chains — reliant on just a few big suppliers — come close to collapse.
The result is shortages of products like piperacillin-tazobactam, an antibiotic combination used intravenously in intensive care, which has been in tight supply since a 2016 explosion at a Chinese pharmaceutical ingredients factory.
Another antibiotic, benzathine penicillin G (BPG), faces shortages in at least 39 countries, including Germany and Brazil.
BPG is a key drug for preventing transmission of syphilis from mother to child and the shortage frustrated Brazil’s efforts to bring a disease outbreak under control between 2012 and 2015. BPG is also used to fight rheumatic heart disease.
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