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


Strep A: Serious Shortage Protocols issued for three penicillin medicines

The Department of Health and Social Care (DH) has announced that it has issued Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) for three penicillin medicines

Pharmacists across the UK will be able to supply patients with penicillin alternatives, after the DH issued SSPs for three medicines.

The SSPs relate to:

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

The DH issued the SSPs to “to help mitigate local supply issues”, it said in a statement today (December 15). 

Pharmacists will now be able to supply alternative forms of the three penicillin medicines if they cannot access the specific formulation on a patient’s prescription.


Penicillin supply issues “temporary” 


Pharmacy 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 Serious Shortage Protocols will allow pharmacists to supply an alternative form of penicillin, which will make things easier for them, patients, and GPs."

He added that the DH was “taking decisive action” to address penicillin supply issues, which he described as “temporary”.

He said: “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.”
Pharmacists have reported difficulties stocking penicillin and other antibiotics, with higher than normal cases of strep A causing demand for the drugs. 
The DH yesterday (December 14) restricted wholesalers from exporting or hoarding antibiotics used to treat strep A, including penicillin.
This prompted Association of Independent Multiple pharmacies (AIMp) CEO Leyla Hannbeck to suggest that the move contradicted the DH’s earlier claims that there were no antibiotic supply issues, stating it should have been “open with people from the beginning that there is a problem”.
Earlier this week, the Healthcare Distribution Association defended itself against pharmacists’ complaints about soaring antibiotics prices, claiming they “directly reflect the increase in prices” they are having to pay manufacturers. 

Related Content


Lead Pharmacist
£30 per hour

Apply Now
Latest News & Analysis
See All



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