Penicillin provision reinforced amidst increased strep A prevalence

The Government has taken action to ensure people have access to penicillin as strep A continues to make demand high.

Serious shortage protocols (SSPs) have been issued across the UK for three penicillin medicines in a bid to curb local supply issues, allowing pharmacists to maintain provision and keep the public stocked up as we continue into the winter months.

SSPs are issued to manage temporary or potential medicine supply shortages, which cut out the need for patients to return to their prescriber with laws dictating that pharmacists can only supply patients with what is on a patient’s prescription – even if it is not available.

The move became necessary after pharmacists started to experience penicillin shortages amidst the increased prominence of strep A and scarlet fever.

The SSPs have been issues for three types of penicillin. They are:

  • phenoxymethylpenicillin 250mg/5ml oral solution sugar free
  • phenoxymethylpenicillin 250mg/5ml oral solution
  • phenoxymethylpenicillin 125mg/5ml oral solution sugar free

Health Minister, Will Quince, said: “The increased demand for the antibiotics prescribed to treat strep A has meant some pharmacists have been unable to supply the medicine shown on the prescription.

“These SSPs will allow pharmacists to supply an alternative form of penicillin, which will make things easier for them, patients, and GPs.

“We are taking decisive action to address these temporary issues and improve access to these medicines by continuing to work with manufacturers and wholesalers to speed up deliveries, bring forward stock they have to help ensure it gets to where it’s needed, and boost supply to meet demand as quickly as possible.”

UK Health Security Agency data indicates that there is an out-of-season increase in strep A and scarlet fever but there is no evidence implying there is a new strain. The Government say the rise is probably due to large amounts of “circulating bacteria and increased social mixing.”

National Health Executive, Jan/Feb, Cover

NHE Jan/Feb 22

The pioneering programmes aimed at solving the NHS workforce pressures - starting at the top

This issue highlights the latest topics within the health sector, from pioneering programmes aimed at solving the NHS workforce pressures, treatment to slow the progression of Parkinson's disease, how the UK is leading the way in cancer research & more!


View all videos
National Health Executive Presents

National Health Executive Presents

NHE365 Virtual Events

NHE has created a full calendar of events to address the most important issues that influence the delivery of healthcare services. Over 365 days you'll have the opportunity to hear from a range of highly motivating, informative and inspirational speakers. These speakers will equip you with the knowledge and unique insight to enable you to overcome the challenges that you face.

Finger on the Pulse

Ep 14. Health messaging is a science, Professor Craig Jackson

On Episode 14 of NHE's Finger on the Pulse podcast, we're joined by Professor Craig Jackson, Professor of Occupational Health Psychology
Birmingham City University to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, the health messaging around it and how those in power have missed a trick by overlooking the key role of psychology in informing the public of restrictions, measures and the ever-changing situation

More articles...

View all