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AMA seeks dosing regimen amid amoxicillin antibiotic shortage

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) says there is a need for a national dosing regimen to address the “intolerable” and “potentially fatal” shortage of amoxicillin.

Pharmacists across Australia are struggling to secure medicines such as amoxicillin and other antibiotics due to supply chain problems.

The shortage coincides with a surge in streptococcal A pharyngeal infections in children and a re-emergence of predominantly dormant scarlet fever.

AMA Chairman Steve Robson said the situation was dire.

“It will be amazing to find that in 2023 we are short of the basic antibiotics that have existed since World War II.

“In the middle of the last century, something as simple as a gardening injury could be fatal.

“It’s amazing that in 2023, an infection that we thought was part of history is back and untreatable.”

Streptococcus pyogenes causes scarlet fever and many other illnesses.(By: Centers for Disease Control)

Pharmacists rely on WhatsApp

Supplies are severely scarce in the Hunter region of New South Wales Pharmacists are using WhatsApp groups to match families with supplies.

In some cases, Newcastle only has two bottles of amoxicillin available at a time.

“Streptococcal A infection, which should be easy to treat, [have left us] Pharmacists have to rely on WhatsApp groups,” Dr Robson said.

Amoxicillin preparations are also on the rise under national drug shortage protocols.

Dr. Robson said now is the time to make a national plan.

“It could be a combination of securing supply chains, national stockpiles and potentially the ability to manufacture some of these medicines in Australia,” he said.

“Because this situation is intolerable.”

A pharmacy shelf completely stripped of a particular drug.
Dozens of medicines are in acute shortage across Australia.(ABC News)

Government pledges action

Federal Health Minister Mark Butler said the government had plans to boost supplies.

“Resilient supply chains are a priority for the Australian government and we need to produce as many critical medical supplies as possible here in Australia,” he said in a statement.

“The government is committed to increasing Australia’s sovereign manufacturing capacity for medical essentials through the establishment of the $15 billion National Recovery Fund (NRF).

“The NRF has made medical technology one of its priorities and is working with the Future Made in Australia Office to develop a national investment plan for healthcare essentials that identifies what is needed in Australia and how it can be delivered. increase.”

Dr. Robson says we can’t take immediate action.

“It’s really time to have a national plan to deal with this. [that] “We’re not going back to the last century,” he said.

The Ministry of Health’s website lists 46 medicines as critically scarce.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-01-24/ama-calls-for-national-medication-plan-amid-antibiotic-shortage/101886856 AMA seeks dosing regimen amid amoxicillin antibiotic shortage

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