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Wholesalers warn of ongoing high prices for antibiotics

Large pharmacy chain blamed for hoarding

December 15th 2022

Tagged: DM Zone news Pharmacy owners' news

By Ailsa Colquhoun

Wholesalers’ representative The Healthcare Distribution Association has warned of ongoing high prices for antibiotics, during the current Group A Streptococcus outbreak.

In a statement it says that “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. This will be the case until supply and demand are more in sync.”

The statement goes on to blame a large pharmacy group for hoarding antibiotics, explaining the cap that members have placed on orders.  The Association has asked NHSE/DHSC to issue a robust request that “all players involved in medicines supply to not over-prescribe, hoard or stockpile”.

Read the HDA Statement

PSNC advises that the following antibiotics have been added to the list of medicines which must not be parallel exported from the UK:

  • Amoxicillin;
  • Cefalexin;
  • Phenoxymethylpenicillin (Penicillin V); and
  • Azithromycin oral suspension.

It is also calling for antibiotics in short supply to be added to the list of price concessions. SSPs have now been issued enabling pharmacists to substitute prescriptions written for
phenoxymethylpenicillin 250mg/5ml oral solution, currently valid until 31 January.

It has also welcomed the launch of an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) into the price of antibiotics.