On Thursday Monsanto announced the supply of Posilac, bovine somatotropin, will be even less than previously expected.

Starting March 1 current producers only will be able to buy 50 percent of their historic purchases. Historic purchases are based on the amount of Posilac each producer purchased between December 2002 and November 2003. This announcement comes just a month after Monsanto revealed its original plan to limit producers to 85 percent of their monthly shipments.

“In order to ensure producers have a more consistent and predictable supply of Posilac during the allocation period, Monsanto felt it was necessary to further reduce producer allocations,” explains Jennifer Garrett, Director of Technical Services, with Monsanto. Based on information that Monsanto has gathered from the supplier and on information from FDA audits, it became clear that more time is   needed to make the necessary changes and upgrades at the supplier.  This additional time more significantly impacts production than originally anticipated. Producers should plan on the allocation period lasting through the end of 2004.

In addition to the decrease in Posilac supply, Monsanto officials also announced that effective March 1 the price of Posilac would increase 50 cents per dose — an increase of 9 percent. This is the first price increase for the product since it was introduced in 1994.