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HDA, PSNC urge DHSC to issue communications to control stockpile of Strep A antibiotics

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The Healthcare Distribution Association (HDA) and the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiation Committee (PSNC) have urged the NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to issue urgent communications requesting that all those involved in medicines supply do not hoard, stockpile or over-prescribe Strep A antibiotics.

In a statement HDA said that the sudden spike in demand for antibiotics used for the treatment of Strep A has meant that there is not enough of these medicines in the supply chain currently to meet this increased demand. As a result, wholesalers are working extremely hard with manufacturers to increase the supply of antibiotics.

It added: “As regards pricing, the prices charged to pharmacies by HDA wholesale distributors will directly reflect the increase in prices wholesalers are having to pay for these medicines from manufacturers at the moment, in order to be able to continue supplying these medicines to pharmacies. This will be the case until supply and demand are more in sync.”

PSNC’s view on antibiotic pricing

PSNC continues to hear from contractors who are paying inflated prices for antibiotics used for the treatment of Strep A and who are rightly concerned about the lack of certainty around the final reimbursement prices for these medicines.

“With this in mind, we welcome the news being reported today that the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is investigating the price of antibiotics.”

“Whilst the above measures are steps in the right direction, PSNC continues to warn DHSC about the very serious impact the shortage of Strep A antibiotics is having on pharmacies and to press them to think broadly about what measures could help to manage the current crisis, such as allowing pharmacists more freedom to change strengths or formulations without prescriber approval (outside of Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs)).

“We have also been clear that more communications are needed to reassure patients and to protect pharmacy staff from the abuse that they are reporting.

“The DHSC is considering our applications for price concessions this month and we are continuing to stress the urgency of this.”

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