Hospital pharmacists hose down vancomycin outcry

Hospital pharmacists have hosed down concerns that lives are being put at risk because of a vancomycin shortage.

Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) president Michael Dooley says he does not expect any patient who needs the drug will miss out.

Hospitals have mobilised contingency plans that include taking stock off the wards, reducing treatment timeframes and sourcing unapproved versions of the drug through TGA special access.

The National Centre for Antimicrobial Stewardship is urging doctors to conserve stock and avoid using the drug wherever possible, suggesting teicoplanin, daptomycin or linezolid be used instead.

The shortage is expected to last until at least February. This has led to concern, with Australian National University professor of microbiology Professor Peter Collignon telling Fairfax Media that substituting the drug with broader spectrum antibiotics brings the risk of