Lemsip shortage as supermarket shelves EMPTY across the country amid worst flu outbreak in a decade

Customers could have a tough time finding Lemsip.
Customers could have a tough time finding Lemsip.

The Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies has criticised the Government, accusing them of 'being in denial' over issues with supply

Published

A “lack of planning” by Government officials has resulted in a shortage of cough and cold medicines, according to pharmacy bosses.

The Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies has criticised the Government, accusing them of “being in denial” over issues with supply.

It follows a warning issued by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) that flu and Covid-19 will circulate at “high levels” over the winter period.

Shortages of common medicines for colds and flu including Lemsip, cough mixtures and throat lozenges have been reported by pharmacists.

The NHS could face additional pressures according to the latest shortages, according to the association.

Chief executive Layla Hannbeck said branded cold and flu medicines are not the only thing pharmacists are struggling to get their hands on, saying the problem extended to the most common drugs.

She said: “The demand has been high because this season we’ve seen higher cases of colds and flu and people are obviously trying very hard to look after themselves and making sure that they use the relevant products to manage the symptoms/

“And that has led to a shortage of these products in terms of us not being able to obtain them.

“This is part of a bigger issue - from HRT to antibiotics to this, we are constantly finding ourselves in a situation when as soon as the demand for something goes up, we are struggling with supply.”

It comes as Britain suffers the worst flu season for a decade, with new figures revealing A&E pressures have led to hundreds of deaths.

Flu admissions stood at 8.3 per 100,000 people in the week to January 1, dropping from 14.8 the week before which was the highest level in at least a decade, according to data from the UKHSA.

The drop only offers minor relief to the NHS, with the rate continuing to run above any point in the previous four winters, with hospital admissions 50 percent higher in the week before Christmas than in 2017-18.