As many will be aware, there is an out of season increase in scarlet fever and Strep A infections. There have been reports of a shortage of antibiotics to treat Strep A. The Government has provided an update on the current supply position, and the steps the Government is taking to respond to increased demand for antibiotics.
Some pharmacies are, as a result of this increased demand, finding it difficult to obtain certain products. As a result, the Government has taken the following action:
- Working with manufactures and wholesalers to ensure that they expedite deliveries, bring forward stock to make sure it gets to where its needed, and boost supply to meet demand as soon as possible.
- Provide advice to primary and secondary care on the management of supply issues, including direction to use alternatives if required.
- Working with the UK Health Security Agency and NHS England to communicate to healthcare professionals
- Issuing eight Serious Shortage Protocols to allow pharmacists to supply an alternative form of penicillin, or alternative antibiotic, which will make things easier for them, patients and GPs.
- Added Penicillin V, amoxicillin, cefalexin and oral suspension form of azithromycin to the list of medicines that cannot be exported or hoarded.
I hope this provides some reassurance that the Government continues to monitor the supply situation, and will continue to work closely with industry, the NHS and others to ensure continue of supply when it is most needed.