Widely used antibiotic in short supply, FDA says

Health

(NewsNation) — Amoxicillin, one of the most widely used antibiotic drugs in the U.S., has been added to the Food and Drug Administration’s database of drugs facing a shortage in the United States.

The FDA issued a warning about a shortage of the drug, triggered by a stark increase in the number of RSV cases in children that has caused demand for the drug to exceed supply.

Former FDA associate commissioner Peter Pitts told NewsNation the cause of the amoxicillin shortage is “pretty clear.”

“We’re having a shortage because more people are using the drug because we have this triple-demic happening right now and amoxicillin is one of the key drugs here,” Pitts said. “Obviously, you don’t use amoxicillin for COVID, or the flu or RSV, but you do use it for some of the symptoms that they cause.”

Pitts said the shortage “points out a hole” in the FDA, which has also struggled to get a handle on the baby formula shortage, that needs to be resolved.

“The FDA can’t just talk to manufacturers, it’s got to talk to physicians, it’s got to talk to retailers to understand what’s actually happening in the real world, it’s a real supply chain issue,” Pitts said. “The FDA has got to step up, they simply can’t do things the old way anymore.”

Pitts said the issues facing the FDA are not a matter of who is to blame, but a matter of FDA Commissioner Robert Califf taking responsibility for what’s going on and taking action.

“Rob Califf, who’s the commissioner, has to step up and say, ‘I’m going to work with other agencies, I’m going to work with other industries, even industries that the FDA does not regulate, to solve this problem,” Pitts said. “It can’t continue to be an ad hoc situation where you can simply say, ‘we’re going to fly in formula, or we’re going to buy stuff from Canada,’ there has to be a holistic solution that’s going to solve this problem once and for all.”

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