Exclusive A spreadsheet for GPs from the three main national wholesalers on the availability of antibiotics has exposed the extent of the current shortage.
The information, which Pulse understands will be updated daily to help GPs keep abreast of the current supply position, shows that a variety of antibiotic preparations and doses are out of stock.
Phoenix, Alliance, and AAH wholesalers are currently out of stock for Amoxicillin Suspension 250 mg/5 mL and Penicillin V Suspension 125 mg/5 mL or 250 mg/5 mL. Only one wholesaler had sugar-free suspension in stock for 125 mg liquid penicillin V.
It occurs when the specialized pharmacy service has issued advice on the use of antibiotics in solid dosage form in children.
If children can swallow tablets whole, that is the preferred option, but penicillin V tablets can be crushed or dispersed in water when needed. orientation states.
But 250mg penicillin tablets were also out of stock in the spreadsheet seen by Pulse, which is shared with GPs to provide “a daily view of what’s available at major wholesalers for pharmacies to order, what which can help inform what to prescribe’.
Pulse has reported that an ICB is advising GPs to consider going back to paper prescriptions due to possible antibiotic prescriptions.
However, the Government has downplayed reports of supply problems in order to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak declaring in Parliament there was no shortage.
Pharmacists had said they were having difficulty accessing stock with some lines apparently not available.
Dr Kieran Sharrock, interim chairman of BMA England’s GP committee, commented that pharmacists, GPs and patients were experiencing shortages locally and “those responsible for supply chains need to redouble efforts to ensure there are enough drugs to meet demand.
On Monday, Pulse reported that GPs had been advised to ‘have a low threshold’ to prescribe antibiotics for children with symptoms.
GP visits for scarlet fever and disease notifications are rising more than expected for this time of year, as are cases of invasive group A strep, albeit less pronounced. The UK Health Insurance Agency (UKHSA) has warned.
Updated UKHSA figures The program published on December 8 So far this season (from September 12 to December 4) there have been 6,601 notifications of scarlet fever. This compares to a total of 2,538 at the same time of year during the last comparable high season in 2017 to 2018.
There have also been 85 cases of invasive group A strep infections in children aged 1 to 4 compared to 194 in the entire last comparable peak season in 2017 to 2018, the UKHSA said.
Since September there have been 13 deaths in children under the age of 15, the Agency confirmed.
A spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care said: ‘There is no shortage of antibiotic suppliers available to treat strep A. As the Secretary of State said, we sometimes have product surges and increased demand means some pharmacies have a hard time to obtain certain antibiotics.
We are urgently working with manufacturers and wholesalers to explore what can be done to speed up deliveries and bring forward the stock they hold to help ensure it gets to where it is needed, to meet demand as quickly as possible and to support access to these vital medicines. .