Posted by: Crystal | December 9, 2009

Where are all the ointments?!

If you are having a hard time tracking down the ophthalmic ointments that your office uses you are not alone.  Many offices are beginning to ask, “Where are all my ointments?” Earlier this year Fougera, a major manufacturer of ophthalmic ointments, stopped production. Fougera previously manufactured 80 % of the ophthalmic ointments on the market. (Bausch & Lomb, Akorn and Falcon are among the other major manufacturers)

The most noticeable shortage has been for Erythromycin 0.5% ointment. Bausch & Lomb was the only other manufacturer of Erythromycin 0.5% when Fougera shut down production.  Bausch & Lomb has repeatedly posted shortages for this product on the FDA website, the most recent update occurring on 12/2/09.

Bausch & Lomb is currently releasing erythromycin ophthalmic ointment in the 50 x 1 gm packaging configuration at a rate consistent with historical usage data. This rate of production is adequate to meet all immediate needs for the 1 gram tube, package of 50 (NDC 24208-0910-19). Limited amounts of product in the 3.5 gram tube, package of 1, (NDC 24208-0910-55) is also available. Product will be allocated to all of Bausch & Lomb’s established wholesalers and distributors.

End users (hospitals and retailers) should not order more product than needed for immediate use at this time. The current rate of production is expected to continue into the first quarter of 2010.  The production rate will be further increased, at that time, to a level that allows customers to build inventory

The FDA also lets us know

Fera Pharmaceuticals recently acquired the rights to manufacture this product and is actively working to make it available again.

We will be sure to let you know when these elusive ointments become readily available again.

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