FDA approves third drug in Becton, Dickinson's push to supply prefilled injectables

Simplist line of generic injectables now includes ondansetron, an antiemetic currently in short supply

BD Rx Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Becton, Dickinson, and Co. (Franklin Lakes, NJ) has received approval for the third of its Simplist line of prefilled, generic injectables. The company, whose parent is a leading supplier of syringes, vials and other drug and device packaging, announced this effort last March, saying that it would target 20 to 30 generic injectables, typically supplied in vials, for delivery as prefilled syringes, a technology that BD is a market leader in. Ondansetron happens also to be a short-supply drug in the list that FDA maintains during the current spate of supply problems. Hospitals and clinics, the primary customers of these injectables, are contending both with limited supplies from manufacturers and with one of their leading alternative sources, compounding pharmacies, currently in upheaval because of the more rigorous enforcement of quality standards by FDA in the aftermath of the meningitis scandal of last year.

A BD spokesperson says that “a very positive response” has come from customers of the Simplist line. In promoting the use of prefilled syringes, BD notes that the 20-odd steps generally taken to obtain and administer an injectable packaged as a vial can be reduced to 12 steps with prefilled syringes. Fewer steps equals lower cost of administration, in most cases.