Strep A: pharmacists have warned antibiotic supply has plummeted

The Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies (AIMP) have stated the supply of Strep A antibiotics has gone from ‘bad to worse’.

In the last week, supplies have decreased forcing the government to work urgently with manufacturers and wholesalers to speed up deliveries.

person holding medicine pills

Leyla Hannbeck, Chief Executive of the AIMP, which represents 4,000 pharmacies in the UK said the supply of antibiotics to treat bacterial infections was ‘very poor’.

Ms Hannbeck added: ‘People are having to go from one pharmacy to another – it’s chaos. Supplies are not coming through to us and it feels like no-one cares.’

One pharmacist in Greater Manchester says they have completely run out of penicillin and amoxicillin – the medication used to treat Strep A and are now having to ‘turn unwell children away’. The alarm bells come as demand for the antibiotics has skyrocketed due to the number of infections rising in children.

As it stands, 15 children have now died from the bacterial infection in the UK. Each child is under the age of 15.

As well as families struggling to get hold of Strep A antibiotics for their children, pharmacists are struggling to afford them. Previously, penicillin £1 to ship into health centres at the beginning of the month, but they now retail at £10-a-bottle for pharmacists to order.

Due to the current economic status, pharmacists are also concerned the government will not reimburse them for purchasing medication.

Despite rising concerns over Strep A bacteria, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Wednesday the infection can be ‘treated appropriately with antibiotics’ and claimed ‘there are no current shortages’ with adequate procedures in place to ensure this remains the case.   

Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko


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