Severe Calpol shortages could last for MONTHS – as other kids’ drugs also affected
A SHORTAGE of common drugs including Calpol could last for ‘several months’, pharmacy bosses today warned.
Chemists across the UK are running out of antibiotics, cold and flu medicines just as kids head back to school and experts predict childhood bugs will run rife.
Leyla Hannabeck, of the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies, warned without drastic action the “severe shortages” will only get worse.
She told The Sun: “As a pharmacist and as a mum, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the situation will improve.”
It comes as new NHS figures reveal flu cases jumped 50 per cent in a week, ambulance handovers are at record highs and the NHS 111 service was inundated with calls.
In the week leading up to New Year’s Day there were 5,105 patients in hospital beds with flu – up 47 per cent from 3,479 the previous week.
The number of people in hospital with Covid rose by almost 1,200 compared with the previous week.
Meanwhile, between Christmas and New Year around 2.9million Brits caught Covid, new data from the Office for National Statistics revealed.
Ms Hannbeck met with Health Minister Will Quince after accusing the Government of “poor planning” on supply chains and being “in denial” over the state of medicine shortages.
“Pharmacies all over the country are struggling to get these medicines, it’s a national issue.
“The government must stop claiming it’s a local problem condensed to certain areas – it’s everywhere,” she said.
Manufacturers have told The Sun they are ramping up production as families across the country struggle to find common medicines.
The 7 other drugs affected by the shortage
Order forms seen by The Sun showed wholesaler shortages of the following medicines:
- Several types of antibiotics
- ADHD medications
- Benylin tablets and cough syrup
- Lemsip drink sachets and pills
- Day Nurse
- Night Nurse
- Liquid paracetamols
This is not an exhaustive list of current shortages
Thorrun Govind, of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, said: “Supply issues make patients anxious and pharmacy teams spend hours tracking down medicines when time could be better spent with patients.
“Manufacturers, wholesalers and the Government should work together to expedite deliveries to help meet demand as quickly as possible.”
The UKHSA confirmed four more children in England have died of invasive Strep A, taking the total to 29 and the UK total to 37.
Five children have died in Wales, along with two in Scotland and one in Northern Ireland.
Figures show spread of the Strep bacteria, which also causes scarlet fever, may now be slowing down
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We are aware of reports of issues with the availability of some branded cold and flu medicines – these appear to be temporary, localised.”
Michelle Riddalls, chief executive of the Proprietary Association of Great Britain said “While some cough or cold products may be less readily available at some stores this is likely to be very sporadic and there are no reports of widespread shortages.”
Ms Hannbeck stressed that pharmacists do not want people to panic and that support for patients will be made available, which may include alternatives.