FDA to allow imports of syphilis drug amid shortage

The FDA has issued temporary authorization for the importation of a syphilis drug that's been in short supply since last April. 

Federal regulators have cleared French drugmaker Laboratoires Delbert to import penicillin G benzathine, Bloomberg reported Jan. 10. A shortage of Pfizer's version of the drug, Bicillin L-A, is estimated to last through June and is the only treatment for congenital syphilis. 

Last April, the CDC said syphilis rates are at their highest since 1950, with nearly 177,000 cases reported in 2021. 

Pfizer has said it is working to ramp up production.

"We continue to supply the market above historical rates, and we are reserving product for emergency needs," a spokesperson for Pfizer told Bloomberg

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