A Pandora’s box: sustainable pharmaceutical supply

Simon Quilty, Lisa M Harris, Jacqueline Kewley, Alison Jones, Robert Pearce, Rosemary James and Forbes McGain
Med J Aust 2011; 195 (9): . || doi: 10.5694/mja11.11150
Published online: 7 November 2011

Governments and international agencies need to embrace quality regulation of pharmaceuticals as well as contingency plans

For the first time in six decades, intravenous penicillin will not be available on hospital shelves in Australia. CSL Limited, who distributes benzylpenicillin in Australia, has been informed by their supplier that due to international floods and disasters, there is a critical global shortage. CSL gave Australian hospitals less than 2 weeks’ notice, and have warned that resumption of local supply is not expected until December 2011.

  • Simon Quilty1
  • Lisa M Harris1
  • Jacqueline Kewley1
  • Alison Jones2
  • Robert Pearce1
  • Rosemary James1
  • Forbes McGain3

  • 1 Hunter New England Local Health Network, Newcastle, NSW.
  • 2 Graduate School of Medicine, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW.
  • 3 Intensive Care and Anaesthetics, Western Health, Melbourne, VIC.


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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