The production of amoxicillin, used to treat illnesses such as chest infections and dental abscesses, is decreasing at an alarming rate. This affects not only the medical professions but also the welfare of the people. How did this happen, and how can this possibly affect the world?
Shortage in Amoxicillin
Several countries have reported a short supply of antibiotics globally, including in the USA and Europe. Since 2021, a survey of pharmacists has reported that there are already 27 European countries that have confirmed the persisting issue.
In 2023, 73% of the representatives of the Jackson Pharmacy Professionals' survey showed that the antibiotics in their workplace experienced a decrease in supply in the last 45 days during that time. To note, 522 pharmacists and pharmacy technicians from 39 states in the USA have responded to the particular survey.
As a result, the prices for the production and retails now can be expensive for the patients. Fortunately, there are Amoxicillin Coupon Offers that allow us to purchase this antibiotic at a discounted price. However, aside from this, the shortage of amoxicillin has impacted the world on a much larger scale.
No clear and particular reasons could have caused the shortage, but various researchers suggested that the supply problems may be related to the regular supply-demand issue. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the usual expected infection cycles annually were significantly influenced.
The best example would be the cases of scarlet fever and strep A in the UK, which usually increase in the new year. Still, after the pandemic hit, the unexpected demand has disrupted the production plans of every manufacturer.
Aside from that, over-reliance and dependence on particular countries and a few suppliers are vital sources for issues in producing the raw materials for amoxicillin. It is said that China and India will account for around or more than 60% of the supply of active ingredients in 2020.
China's zero COVID policy, where strict lockdowns were imposed, has affected the manufacturing of the required ingredient for the production of amoxicillin, which raised concerns about the concentration of the supply market.
How Does This Affect the World?
As one of the primary prescriptions for many diseases, the shortage has become an alarming concern. This issue doesn't only affect the medical field but also a lot of the general people. To name a few negative influences of the amoxicillin shortages, here are a few things you should know.
The shortage of amoxicillin can put people at risk, especially in children. It's the most commonly prescribed antibiotic to treat bacterial infections in children, but the current issue puts physicians and the healthcare system on edge.
Aside from that, outpatient care becomes more challenging. As part of the process, pharmacists must contact physicians for patients prescribed amoxicillin before giving a different drug. This drug shortage only delays care, especially since this is one of the primary aids for most bacterial infections.
Worsening of Diseases
Without primary care or the delay in aiding, the patients might only develop their current conditions. It can be life-threatening in severe cases, especially if left untreated. For instance, septicemia is a severe blood infection where a bacteria makes it to a person's bloodstream and causes blood poisoning.
Antibiotics like amoxicillin help in killing the particular bacteria. Please note that bacteria can quickly regenerate, and the amoxicillin makes it hard for the microorganism to grow and multiply. Although there are available options, many issues will be discussed next. So, unless you treat the bacterial infection, it will only worsen unless the bacteria is removed from the body.
Prescribing Drugs that are Available
Since bacterial infection is a severe health issue, prescribing immediate alternatives is crucial. However, physicians must do what is available without amoxicillin, which can be a substandard or suboptimal option. Still, it's a concern how they're second or third in the first place. It may be because the drug has a higher risk of adverse reactions or poorer effect on the patient and may risk them with resistance development.
Additionally, chances are, alternatives for amoxicillin might also be on the higher tiers of the AWaRe classification, which is a tool used by the medical industry for medical stewardship with an effort to combat antimicrobial resistance.
In 2015, there was also a global shortage of antibiotics for piperacillin. As a solution, the antibiotic was substituted with meropenem, which only caused an increase in meropenem use. This drug is in the Watch AWaRe category and is restricted only against serious infections.
Increase in Price
In a supply-demand chain, the shortage of amoxicillin and increased demand will only increase the drug's price. The general public might not be able to purchase this antibiotic unless they pay a hefty price, which increases care costs even more. As a result, immediate health care can't be completed, and the problem continues.
Substandard and Falsified Antibiotics Might Reach the Market
People might exploit the void in the market after seeing the supply with limited ways of decreasing the demand. They might unconscionably redistribute expired antibiotics and produce substandard or falsified medicines. These actions fail the treatment and might worsen the patient's condition, cause adverse reactions, and increase resistance.
Understanding this should remind you always to take care of your health. Unless the government and other vital people act on this issue, the shortage might continue for a long time. Issues will continue to persist, if not worse than what's happening.