Bladder Cancer Canada
Position Statement on Canadian Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) Shortage
Issued March 7, 2019
Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) has been the standard of care for many patients with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer for decades. Bladder Cancer Canada and our Medical Advisory Board have been advised by Merck Canada, that they anticipate a limited supply of BCG in the next year.
Due to increasing global demand for BCG treatment and as the only source of Onco TICE BCG in many countries, Merck anticipates this shortage to continue throughout 2019.
Merck increased production of Onco TICE BCG by more than 100 percent to enable it to be produced at the full extent of their manufacturing capacity. However, even with increased production, an increasing global demand is leading to supply constraints.
Merck is hopeful of fulfilling as close to normal demand as possible during this time. Allocation based on historical customer orders was implemented in Canada October 18, 2018 to ensure the available quantity is efficiently provided to patients.
The Bladder Cancer Canada Medical Advisory Board has published an approach for consideration by physicians to address the shortage of Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) on the bladdercancercanada.org website.
Bladder Cancer Canada is deeply concerned about the current BCG shortage and its effects on the treatment of bladder cancer patients. We are urging Health Canada to bring a second supplier of BCG to Canada.