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Britain faces critical shortage of vital drug used to treat killer winter bug Strep A

BRITAIN is facing a critical shortage of amoxicillin — the No1 drug to treat killer Strep A in kids.

Supply chain issues, rising costs and a global shortage of raw ingredients has sparked serious concern among pharmacy chiefs and parents.

Muhammad Ibrahim Ali was the fourth child to die from Strep A

Supermarkets and larger chemists are seeing shelves emptied of the antibiotic, while smaller pharmacists are struggling to even source it.

Mum of two Jen Pharo, 38, from Sandhurst, Berks, said her local Tesco had run out of when she went to buy some for her daughter.

She said: “They said they couldn’t order any more as their supplier had none.

“I did find some at my local chemist, but they were down to their last bottle. It’s alarming we can run out of such a basic medicine.”

It comes as six children have now died from invasive Group A Streptococcus disease, including Muhammad Ibrahim Ali, four, of High Wycombe, Bucks. It has also led to more than 800 cases of scarlet fever.

Dr Leyla Hannbeck, CEO of the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies, said the shortage was “very worrying”. She added: “It’s at a time that there is a higher risk of getting Strep A, particularly among children.

“We have raised it numerous times with the Department of Health. They say there is no shortage but we can see there’s a shortage.”

Last night Asda said it had amoxicillin in stock, but was aware of a “market shortage”.

The illness usually only causes a mild sore throat and temperature – but in extreme cases can lead to a life-threatening infection.

The Department of Health said: “We have well established procedures to deal with medicine shortages and work closely with industry, the NHS and others to prevent shortages and resolve issues as soon as possible.”



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