Serious shortage of common drugs sparks concern
There are serious shortages of a range of common drugs in Australia, and an expert is calling for an overhaul of the drug approval process to ease the problem.
The Rumour File this morning heard there’s a shortage of Amoxicillin antibiotics, with two pharmacies in Melbourne’s south-east not expecting supply until next year.
Neil Mitchell has seen a message sent to staff at a major Melbourne hospital informing them of difficulties obtaining supplies of Amoxicillin and another common antibiotic, Metronidazole (sold as Flagyl).
Infectious diseases expert and antibiotics specialist at the Australian National University, Professor Peter Collignon, says they’re “really important antibiotics that you really just need there all of the time”.
But they’re not the only drugs in short supply.
“This is an ongoing problem. It seems to be worse at the moment, with lots of drugs,” Professor Collignon told Neil Mitchell.
“There’s various reasons, it’s mainly a supply problem and most of the drugs in the world are now manufactured in China and India.”
Professor Collignon says pharmaceutical companies have “almost given themselves monopoly by being the only one registered to supply this drug to Australia”.
“If they don’t deliver, or can’t deliver, there’s not another easy way of getting a drug in, even if it’s an approved product somewhere else in the world.”
He’s calling for a change in regulations to allow different versions of approved drugs, which are approved and sold in Canada, the US and the EU, to bypass Australian regulation procedures for importation if domestic supplies are unavailable.
Press PLAY below to hear about the changes Professor Collignon is pushing for