Antibiotics warning: UK faces national PENICILLIN shortage as Strep A ravages country - 'There are no drugs'

Penicillin and antibiotics could be offered to school children in an attempt to curb the spread of Strep A.
Penicillin and antibiotics could be offered to school children in an attempt to curb the spread of Strep A.

Steve Barclay said he was in 'close contact' with suppliers over the issue

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The UK could be facing a national penicillin shortage as Strep A ravages the country.

Steve Barclay said checks within the Department of Health had not revealed an issue with supply of the medicines after the National Pharmacy Association said there were “blips” in the supply chain of liquid penicillin, which is often given to children.

The UK could be facing a national penicillin shortage as Strep A ravages the country.
The UK could be facing a national penicillin shortage as Strep A ravages the country.

Mr Barclay said the level of supply was “not a concern at the moment” but stock could be moved around if there was an issue with particular GPs getting supplies.

He told GB News: “We’re in very close contact with our medical suppliers. “They’re under a duty to notify us if there are supply shortages. They have not done so as yet.”

However, a Whitehall source told i that the UK “does not have a ‘huge’ level of stockpile that would mean antibiotics could be given out” in large numbers if the situation worsens.

The Government has said penicillin and antibiotics could be offered to school children in an attempt to curb the spread of Strep A.

Pharmacy director Zeshan Rehmani said the Government was “out of touch” for the suggestion.

He told Sky News: “There’s no drugs. Today, we haven’t been able to get any penicillin in stock at all.”

Steve Barclay told GB News: “We’re in very close contact with our medical suppliers".
Steve Barclay told GB News: “We’re in very close contact with our medical suppliers".

To date, at least nine children across the UK have died from complications caused by the Strep A infection.

The most recent death reported was of Stella-Lilly McCorkindale in Belfast who attended Black Mountain Primary School.

UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) officials have suggested that a lack of mixing due to the Covid pandemic plus susceptibility in children are probably “bringing forward the normal scarlet fever season” from spring to this side of Christmas.