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2SPD-011 Availability of liquid antimicrobials – a national analysis of the current supply situation
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  1. N Riesenhuber1,
  2. M Krauss1,
  3. K Mossburger1,
  4. C Gradwohl2,
  5. G Stemer1
  1. 1University Hospital Vienna, Pharmacy, Vienna, Austria
  2. 2St. Anna Children’s Hospital, Paediatrics, Vienna, Austria

Abstract

Background and Importance Oral liquid dosage forms of various antimicrobials represent the mainstay of therapy for paediatric infections, especially in infants and young children. However, shortages of such preparations have dramatically increased over the past year, challenging adequate therapy, especially in the community setting.

Aim and Objectives The aim of this study was to assess the supply situation of various antimicrobials in liquid dosage forms in Austria.

Material and Methods The availability of antimicrobials in liquid dosage forms was examined over a period of 27 weeks (February to August 2023). Actual supply data were extracted once weekly from a major Austrian full-service pharmaceutical wholesaler database and the availability of all liquid antimicrobials authorised in Austria was analysed.

Results A total of 42 products containing 15 different antimicrobials in liquid dosage forms are authorised in Austria. During the time period investigated, 34 products (81.0%) were not available for over 50% of the time; eight of those (19.0%) experienced complete unavailability. Only four products (9.5%) demonstrated continuous availability (i.e. preparations containing fluconazole, oseltamivir, and voriconazole).

Availability of cephalosporin antibiotics was specifically limited, with first-generation cephalosporins, being unavailable for prescription in 74.1% of the observation period (20 weeks). Cefpodoxime remained inaccessible for 96.3% of the investigated period (26 weeks), cefaclor and cefalexin for 85.2% (23 weeks) and 74.1% (20 weeks), respectively. Cefixime showed better availability, experiencing stockouts for only 44.4% of the time (12 weeks).

Regarding penicillin antibiotics, amoxicillin was not available for 77.8% of the time (21 weeks) and amoxicillin/clavulanic acid for 59.3% (16 weeks). Penicillin V showed better availability, being out of stock only for 37.0% of the time (10 weeks). Regarding macrolide antibiotics, azithromycin was not available for 63.0% of the time (17 weeks), while clarithromycin experienced 37.0% unavailability (10 weeks).

Conclusion and Relevance Medicines shortages, especially involving antibiotics, pose a global public health dilemma that can lead to adverse health outcomes. Regular monitoring of availability status can help mitigate this issue; however, cross-national strategies are urgently needed to guarantee a constant supply in the future.

Conflict of Interest No conflict of interest.

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