The Health Secretary has said there is a “good supply” of penicillin and the Pharmacy director Zeshan Rehmani has criticised the Department of Health for “being out of touch” after saying actually “there’s no drugs.”
The Department for Health has proposed to provide antibiotics to schools to prevent illnesses such as Strep A following a series of deaths in children under the age of 10.
The pharmacy director warned, “There’s no drugs. Today, we haven’t been able to get any penicillin in stock at all.”
Rehmani told Sky News, “When we hear stories about possibly giving antibiotics to children in schools, it just shows how out of touch the Department of Health is with on-the-ground pharmacy.”
He added, “Pharmacists across the country are thinking we haven’t got enough penicillin to fill our prescriptions, let alone handing it out to schools.”However the Health Secretary Steve Barclay claims that he has been reassured that there is a “good supply” of penicillin.
Barclay told Sky News, “I checked with the team last night – we have an established team in the department that does this on a permanent basis – and they reassured me we have good supply.
“The medical suppliers are required to notify us if they’ve got shortages.
“Now, sometimes, GPs can have particular surges if they’ve got a lot of demand in an area, and that’s quite routine, we can move the stock around our depots.
“As of last night, when we checked (with suppliers), they said they could reassure us that they’ve got good stock and were moving that around to meet demand.”
The National Pharmacy Association said in a statement, “Pharmacies are having to work very hard to obtain stocks of these antibiotics, and some lines are temporarily unavailable.
“We have been advised by wholesalers that most lines will be replenished soon, but we cannot say exactly when that will be.
“As always, pharmacists will continue to work with local GPs to help people get the medicines they need as promptly as possible, which may require a change of prescription.”