Chemist + Druggist is part of Pharma Intelligence UK Limited

This is operated by Pharma Intelligence UK Limited, a company registered in England and Wales with company number 13787459 whose registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. The Pharma Intelligence group is owned by Caerus Topco S.à r.l. and all copyright resides with the group.


This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use. Please do not redistribute without permission.

Printed By

UsernamePublicRestriction

DH bans wholesalers from exporting or ‘hoarding’ strep A antibiotics

The Department of Health and Social Care (DH) has restricted wholesalers from exporting or hoarding some antibiotics used to treat strep A, as pharmacists face mounting demand for the drugs.

As of today (December 14), wholesale dealer licence holders cannot “hoard” or export certain antibiotics – including amoxicillin and phenoxymethylpenicillin – from the UK.

The DH added the medications to its regularly updated ‘list of medicines that cannot be exported from the UK or hoarded', which it uses to identify products that “are needed for UK patients”.

It defined the “hoarding” of medicines as “when wholesale dealers withhold a medicine when it’s in short supply”.

The list also includes ceftazidime, cefuroxime, levofloxacin, linezolid, piperacillin + tazobactam and vancomycin.

 

Continued sourcing pressures

 

The Association in Independent Multiple pharmacies CEO Leyla Hannbeck suggested that the move contradicts the DH’s claims last week that there are no antibiotic supply issues.

The DH should have been “open with people from the beginning that there is a problem”, Dr Hannbeck told C+D.

However, the DH reiterated to C+D earlier this week that "there is no supplier shortage” of antibiotics used to treat strep A infections.

“We sometimes have surges for products and increased demand means some pharmacies are having difficulties obtaining certain antibiotics,” a spokesperson said.

This comes after pharmacists raised concerns over difficulties sourcing antibiotics, while England’s chief pharmaceutical officer David Webb warned pharmacy teams last week that they may face “a temporary interruption of supply” of “some relevant” antibiotics.

Dr Hannbeck also urged the DH to make sure its supply of antibiotics – “wherever they have” them – is delivered to pharmacies “as soon as possible, so that patients don't have to go from one pharmacy to another pharmacy or wait long”.

Pharmacists are still facing difficulties getting hold of the products, she explained.

“[Stock is] very, very sporadic,” Dr Hannbeck added, with patients buying the antibiotics almost as soon they’re restocked in pharmacies.

 

RPS welcomes move following pharmacy "challenges"

 

Chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) English pharmacy board Thorrun Govind welcomed the DH’s move to restrict the export of antibiotics, “given the challenges pharmacies in the UK are facing”.

The DH prohibits the export of a medicine if it determines that the drug is in short supply or at the “risk of being in shortage” and that its export might “contribute to a shortage or risk of shortage of that medicine in the UK”, its guidance explained.

Wholesalers found to be hoarding or exporting a medicine on the list could face regulatory action by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which “could include immediate suspension of the wholesaler dealer licence”, it said.

Earlier this week, a DH spokesperson told C+D that “there is no supplier shortage” of antibiotics used to treat strep A infections.

“We sometimes have surges for products and increased demand means some pharmacies are having difficulties obtaining certain antibiotics,” they said.

Meanwhile, the Healthcare Distribution Association (HDA) said soaring antibiotics prices “directly reflect the increase in prices” they are having to pay manufacturers, following pharmacists' complaints that they have been left out of pocket.

It previously stressed that “there is not a shortage” of antibiotics commonly used to treat invasive group A strep, but a “huge” surge in demand.

 

Related Content

Topics

         
Pharmacy Manager
Guernsey
£70,000

Apply Now
Latest News & Analysis
See All
UsernamePublicRestriction

Register

CD136618

Ask The Analyst

Please Note: You can also Click below Link for Ask the Analyst
Ask The Analyst

Thank you for submitting your question. We will respond to you within 2 business days. my@email.address.

All fields are required.

Please make sure all fields are completed.

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please enter a valid e-mail address

Please enter a valid Phone Number

Ask your question to our analysts

Cancel