Penicillin formulation developer dies

Monroe J. Romansky died at 95 of complications from Alzheimer's disease.

penicilin 88 (photo credit: )
penicilin 88
(photo credit: )
Monroe J. Romansky, who developed a formulation of penicillin that prolonged the drug's action, died Aug. 12 at 95 of complications from Alzheimer's disease, his son said. Working in the Army Medical Corps at Walter Reed General Hospital during World War II, Romansky developed a method for administering penicillin in a mixture of beeswax and peanut oil called the Romansky Formula. At the time, penicillin was difficult to use because it was excreted from the body so quickly, according to Food and Drug Administration historian John Swann. The Romansky Formula allowed the drug to stay in the body, so it had to be injected only once each day. Eventually the need for this type of method was eliminated when semi-synthetic penicillin was developed in the 1950s, Swann said. Romansky became an associate professor at George Washington University's medical school in 1947 and was promoted to professor in 1957. He also served as director of the infectious diseases division and director of the George Washington University medical division at D.C. General Hospital. He retired from the university in 1991.