CNN featured a recent a baby formula shortage. It reminds me of BCG shortage. But, the difference is that the US government including FDA quickly is acting on the baby formula shortage problem compared to how BCG shortage has been been handled.
The baby formula shortage happened when Abbot closed its infant formula plant in Michigan after FDA found contamination at the facility from the bacteria Cronnobacter sakazakii. Four infants who ate the formula from the plant were hospitalized and Cronobacter, two died. Abbot controls 48% of the baby forumula market.
The shut down of the plant in Michigan has caused the shortage of the baby formula and I have watched a news that showed empty shelves for baby formula and mothers were searching for the baby formula.
To address the shortage, the government are now allowing importing baby formula from Europe. Also, now FDA and Abbot have reached agreement to reopen the plant in a week or two. Even, the president Biden invoked Defense Production Act to boost baby formula manufacturing to ease shortage.
We also experienced the BCG shortage when Sanofi plant in Canada was flooded, and later closed due to FDA inspecting finding mold and issued. Sanofi eventually shut down the BCG plant and withdrew from BCG market leaving MERCK to be the sole manufacturer for North American market and many European countries. Austria, New Zealand and many European countries allowed other BCG to be imported to deal with the shortage. US (Urological community) decided not to allow importing of foreign made BCGs but approached reducing doses to deal with the shortage. I still hear even today time to time patients are being told BCG not being available.
But. I do not recall that the BCG shortage was addressed in the government level except by FDA, neither in Canada where Sanofi plant was located and in USA except I recall U.S. Sem Chuck Shumer was urging the FDA to come up with the plan back in 2019. That leaves us to patients to make sure that the prolong shortage will not happen again.