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NI government acknowledges ‘tireless’ work of pharmacies, wholesalers in antibiotic supply

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The Department of Health in Northern Ireland has acknowledged the efforts of community pharmacies, wholesalers and procurement teams in securing supply of antibiotics for the treatment of Group A Streptococcus(Group A Strep) infection in Northern Ireland.

“Locally community pharmacies, wholesalers and procurement teams have been working tirelessly to secure stock deliveries into Northern Ireland. The Department acknowledges the immense efforts from all involved,” it said.

“To put this in context, it is estimated that around one month’s worth of stock based on normal demand was exhausted in less than 48 hours last week.”

“While demand is well in excess of what is usual for this time of year, the system has been working hard to replenish stocks as quickly as possible, as such wholesalers are still receiving and making deliveries, with more scheduled over the coming days.”

The government department, which has lead responsibility for continuity of medicines supply on a UK-wide basis, is working closely with manufacturers and wholesalers to expedite resupply deliveries to secure continuity of supply.

It said: “The Chief Pharmaceutical Officer has updated pharmacy teams on the current situation and to ask that pharmacy teams work with prescribers to understand local antibiotic availability and refrain from ordering excessive quantities to avoid putting the supply chain under additional pressure.”

“The Chief Pharmaceutical Officer and Department of Health colleagues will continue to liaise closely with the Department of Health and Social Care with regard to the UK-wide supply chain, ensuring that Northern Ireland’s supply needs are fully understood.”

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