BCG Shortage?

2 years 11 months ago #55391 by pjbsara
BCG Shortage? was created by pjbsara
Hi. I am relatively newly diagnosed with bladder cancer and have undergone five of the six prescribed BCG treatments here in Florida. But before my sixth one, my doctor's office called to say they had not received their shipment of the drug. I have called another urologist in town that gives BCG treatments and they too did not received their BCG. I called another urologist's office in another state where I also have a home and they do have BCG.
I have two questions:
1) Is there a shortage? I have now read up on BCG shortages and I know there was one in 2016 but it was solved and supposedly wasn't going to happen again. Also in 2017, one of the two manufacturers in the US exited the market, leaving only Merck. Is there anyone out there who has experienced the same thing recently? Or knows anything about the current BCG supply?

2) I am contemplating asking a urologist at a place that has BCG would give my last treatment, and I have been led to believe by my doctor's nurse that if I could find a doctor to do it, my doctor would approve of it. But she also said other patients have tried that in the past, without luck. So my question is, Have you ever gone to another urologist's office to have the nurse practitioner give you your treatment.

I am asking because I really need to leave Florida to get back to my other place which I'm sure has fallen into disrepair in my absence. I have no way and nobody to help me out back there. I meant to leave Florida in mid-March, when my tumor was found. It is now nearly mid-June. I've gotta go. Thanks

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2 years 11 months ago #55393 by sara.anne
Replied by sara.anne on topic BCG Shortage?
I am not familiar with a current national shortage of BCG. It will be interesting to see if anyone else reports this. Since BCG is a biological product there can be hic-ups in its production.

It would be a good idea to ask your urologist if he/she feels it is absolutely necessary to receive the sixth dose.
We are not doctors here, so our advice needs to be checked out with your doctor. However, there is no "law" that says that the number "six" is in any way magical!! You have had the majority of the doses. When you are in a place where BCG is available again, you could begin the maintenance regimen.

You should be able to head to your other residence.

Good luck

Sara Anne

Diagnosis 2-08 Small papillary TCC; CIS
BCG; BCG maintenance
Vice-President, American Bladder Cancer Society
Forum Moderator

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2 years 11 months ago - 2 years 11 months ago #55396 by Jack R
Replied by Jack R on topic BCG Shortage?
The FDA does NOT currently list BCG as being in short supply or on delay.
Biological supply stream problems are listed and updated at:


6/2015 HG Papillary & CIS
3 Years and 30 BCG/BCG+Inf
Tis CIS comes back.
BC clear as of 5/17 !
RCC found in my one & only kidney 10/17
Begin Chemo; Cisplatin and Gemzar
8/18 begin Chemo# 3
Begin year 4 with cis
2/19 Chemo #4
9/19 NED again :)
1/2020 CIS is back
Tried Keytruda, stopped by side effects
Workin on a new plan for 2021

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2 years 11 months ago #55397 by pjbsara
Replied by pjbsara on topic BCG Shortage?
Thanks! That's a great resource to know about. I wonder why in this Florida city the two doctors' offices I know about don't have it, though. Maybe just a temporary glitch in the supply chain. Thanks again for your info.

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