Juno imports antibiotic to Canada amid widespread shortage

By Ben Hargreaves

- Last updated on GMT

© mitja2 / Getty Images
© mitja2 / Getty Images

Related tags Canada Antibiotics Supply chain

The company receives approval from Health Canada to import amoxicillin, as numerous countries struggle with shortages for the antibiotic.

Juno Pharmaceuticals has used the authorization by Heath Canada to import amoxicillin powder for oral suspension, with the company stating that it had secured close to 100,000 bottles of the product.

The decision to import the drugs comes amid a nationwide shortage in Canada, which is one of the most commonly used antibiotics​ in the primary care setting. The treatment is often used for children in the treatment of particular bacterial infections.

Juno stated that the imported product was already being prepared for delivery and would be distributed to hospitals, pharmacies, and retail wholesalers across the country.

In Canada, amoxicillin has been on backorder, in some cases, since October 2022. The lack of supplies led to the antibiotic being rationed across Canada, and meant that some pharmacies dispensed alternative formulations, Juno stated.

The shortages arriving during winter has also posed a problem to healthcare professionals, as the rates of respiratory illnesses and infections increases, which is, in itself, one of the reasons behind the shortage.

As a response to the various drug shortages that are being experienced in Canada, Juno outlined that it had set up an internal drug shortage division. The division is tasked with sourcing, registering, and importing out-of-country medications through its global partner network.

The amoxicillin supply is the first product that the company has imported to address drug shortages through the division. The company stated that a further eight products are experiencing critical shortages in Canada, which the division is currently working on sourcing and are under review for possible submission to Health Canada.

Not just a Canada problem

The issues that Canada has experienced in sourcing amoxicillin are not limited to the country. The antibiotic is also on the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s drug shortage list​, with four manufacturers noting that they had issues with supply at the time of the last update.

The four companies are Aurobindo, Hikma Pharmaceuticals, Sandoz, and Teva – four of the largest generic medicine manufacturers across the industry. Three of the companies stated that the reason for the shortages was due to the “demand increase for drug.”

The Wall Street Journal​ has also reported that there is a widespread shortage of commonly used antibiotics, including amoxicillin, cephalosporin, and other medicines, being experienced in Europe. Such shortage of antibiotics in Europe arrives amid worries over the rise in the number of cases​ of group A Streptococcus in children below 10 years old.

Related topics Markets & Regulations

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