Information About the BCG Shortage

About the BCG Shortage

Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) has been a standard of care for many patients with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer for decades. BCAN and our Scientific Advisory Board have been advised by Merck & Co., Inc., that they anticipate a limited supply of BCG in the next year. Because of increased global demand and as the only source of BCG Live (Intravesical) in the United States and many other countries, Merck anticipates supply constraints for TICE® BCG for the foreseeable future. Merck increased production of 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. BCAN is deeply concerned about the current BCG shortage for treatments for bladder patients. For more information about BCG and other intravesical therapies, please visit our  Intravesical Therapy page,  and be sure to watch our June 2019 webinar about treatment options during the BCG shortage.

In September of 2020, BCAN, along with the American Urological Association, American Association of Clinical Urologists, Society of Urologic Oncology, Large Urology Group Practice Association and the Urology Care Foundation, released a joint statement regarding suggested strategies to help maximize the care of patients with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer. As always, it is important that these decisions be made after an informed discussion with the individual patient regarding their treatment options in the context of the ongoing BCG shortage. If you have any questions about this guidance, please contact BCAN either by email or by calling us at 1-888-901-2226.

If you want to consider enrolling in a clinical trial as an appropriate alternative management strategy to BCG treatment alone, you can find more information on BCAN’s Clinical Trial Dashboard.

News Coverage of the BCG Shortage

10/14/20 BCAN Statement on Planned Merck BCG Production Facility to Expand Capacity. Click here to read the statement.

September 2020 Joint Statement about the Ongoing BCG Shortage

In September 2020, BCAN, along with American Urological Association (AUA), American Association of Clinical Urologists (AACU), the Society of Urologic Oncology (SUO), the Large Urology Group Practice Association (LUGPA) and the Urology Care Foundation (UCF) issued a statement expressing concern about this ongoing shortage and its effects on the care of bladder cancer patients. Click here to read the statement.

11/27/19: CNBC -Mounting drug shortages delay treatments for patients with bladder cancer. On November 27, 2019, CNBC ran a story about the BCG shortage, addressing production and supply and distribution challenges. Click here to read the article.

06/19/2019 Washington Post Article on BCG Shortage. On June 18th, the Washington Post released an article about the BCG Shortage, and it includes statements from patients, doctors, Merck, and the FDA. Click here to read the article.

3/25/2019 BCAN Special Update- BCG Shortage: Understanding your Treatment Options. To view the recording of this program featuring Dr. Seth Lerner, Dr. Robert Svatak, and patient advocate Rick Bangs, please click here.

3/8/2019 BCG Shortage-Perspectives from Josh Meeks. Watch this short video with Josh Meeks and Alicia Morgans as they discuss the clinical treatment of High-Risk NMIBC in a BCG rationed era.

3/4/19 BCG Shortage 2019: Managing Through Treatment and Reimbursement Issues – Neal Shore, Ashish Kamat, and Jonathan Rubenstein. BCAN Board of Directors member, Dr. Neal Shore discusses the current 2019 shortage of BCG with Dr. Ashish Kamat and Dr. Jonathan Rubenstein on video by Uro Today. Click here to learn more.

3/1/2019 SWOG Now Searches for BCG Replacement. National shortages of BCG in recent years leading some clinics and hospitals to run out, and some to ration supplies. SWOG Cancer Research Network research may help us fill the void. The same clinical trials group that helped establish the effectiveness of BCG may also help establish the effectiveness of a replacement. Read more here.

2/19/2019 Update from the AUA, BCAN, SUO, and others. To read the full statement, please click here.

2/12/2019 BCAN’s Response to the BCG Shortage. Click here to read the full statement.

2/12/2019 BCG Shortage for Urologists. Click here to open the newsletter in a new tab.

2/12/2019 IBCG Statement. Click here to read the full statement.

2/12/2019 BCG Alternatives. Click here to read the full article.