Oh dear! The Food and Drug Administration in the U.S. has issued a bulletin saying that there is a shortage of the small erythromicin tubes for newborn babies. (see below) Hospitals are wondering how to break up larger tubes into small doses for infants. I guess they didn’t get http://wisewomanwayofbirth.com/ways-to-save-millions-of-tax-dollars-in-obstetrics/ my blog post of February 21, 2009, where I clearly told the U.S. government:
2. End eye ointment treatment of newborns. Britain and Australia do not put antibiotics in the eyes of newborns who don’t need it. If a baby gets an infection, they treat it. Who makes all the money from this unnecessary tribal rite? Curious minds want to know. When nurses, midwives and doctors continue these practises they line the pockets of the pharmaceutical companies at the detriment of babies.
Perhaps the gigantic drug company payout of $2.3 billion in damages this past week is actually affecting their money making cartel? Who knows what’s going on but maybe a few babies will benefit by not receiving unnecessary antibiotics. Just think, those lucky babies will get a clear look at the world instead of the murky, oily one that we give to most babies born in North America.
FDA statement 9/2/09:
Erythromycin Ophthalmic Ointment Shortage
FDA was recently made aware of a shortage of Erythromycin Ophthalmic
Ointment due to a change in manufacturers. Fera Pharmaceuticals recently
acquired the rights to the product and they are actively working to make
Erythromycin Ophthalmic Ointment available. Bausch and Lomb also
manufactures Erythromycin Ophthalmic Ointment and they are working to
increase production during this period of drug shortage. We anticipate
shortages of both the 1 gram and 3.5 gram tubes.
Erythromycin Ophthalmic Ointment is approved for prophylaxis of ophthalmia neonatorum due to gonorrhoeae or C. trachomatis and is the only product approved for this indication currently commercially available in the United States.
Erythromycin Ophthalmic Ointment is also approved for the treatment of
superficial ocular infections involving the conjunctiva and/or cornea
caused by organisms susceptible to erythromycin. Other products are also
approved for the treatment of these types of infections.
What is FDA doing to address the shortage of Erythromycin Ophthalmic
FDA is working with manufacturers to increase production of erythromycin
FDA has worked with the manufacturer to facilitate distribution of
available product to hospitals for neonatal prophylaxis use.
What can healthcare providers do?
While Erythromycin Ophthalmic Ointment is also approved for the
treatment of superficial ocular infections involving the conjunctiva
and/or cornea caused by organisms susceptible to erythromycin, health
care providers are asked to consider alternative drugs for this
indication during this time of shortage to maximize the availability of
Erythromycin Ophthalmic Ointment for prophylaxis of ophthalmia
neonatorum. (end of Bulletin)
Added on April 14, 2015 Someone’s listening. The Canadian Society of Pediatrics has recommended against this treatment of babies’ eyes. http://www.cps.ca/en/documents/position/ophthalmia-neonatorum Quote from the policy:
Applying medication to the eyes of newborns may result in mild eye irritation and has been perceived by some parents as interfering with mother-infant bonding. Physicians caring for newborns should advocate for rescinding mandatory ocular prophylaxis laws. More effective means of preventing ophthalmia neonatorum include screening all pregnant women for gonorrhea and chlamydia infection, and treatment and follow-up of those found to be infected. Mothers who were not screened should be tested at delivery. Infants of mothers with untreated gonococcal infection at delivery should receive ceftriaxone. Infants exposed to chlamydia at delivery should be followed closely for signs of infection.