Australian drug maker CSL has told hospitals that a delivery delay from its overseas supplier means that its intravenous penicillin product will be on restricted supply.
CSL – the only supplier of the drug in Australia – has told the ABC the shortage is unprecedented.
A company spokeswoman says hospitals have been urged to review their current supplies and consider alternative treatments.
But infectious diseases specialist Peter Collignon says the shortage poses an unacceptable risk to patients’ safety.
“We have a company that supplies this drug, it’s an essential drug for Australia and they can’t supply it. Now I think that is a real problem,” he said.