Narrow-spectrum penicillin no longer available: concerning development

The Medicines Evaluation Board (MEB) deems it extremely concerning that the antibiotics Sodium Penicillin G 1,000,000 IU, Sodium Penicillin G 10,000,000 IU and Penidural will no longer be available. These injections play an important role in the various treatment protocols followed by doctors. They are used in the treatment of diseases including pneumonia, syphilis and various infections of the skin, muscles and tendons. There are no comparable products on the market in the Netherlands. As these penicillins are no longer available, doctors will start using broad-spectrum antibiotics. This contradicts the aim of counter-acting resistance against antibiotics.

Resistance can be countered through the use - wherever possible - of targeted treatment using narrow-spectrum antibiotics. These narrow-spectrum antibiotics are only effective against a limited range of bacteria. The broad-spectrum antibiotics are effective against a much wider range of bacteria.

These products will also be phased out of production in the coming years. The company Astellas has informed the MEB that this is due to the fact that the excipient sodium citrate is no longer available.

The MEB is consulting with the Dutch Health Care Inspectorate (IGZ) to find solutions. As a temporary measure, alternative products can be imported with a physician’s declaration. This can only be done via the Dutch Health Care Inspectorate. In addition, the MEB has appealed to Astellas to explore solutions so that these antibiotics remain available to patients in the Netherlands.