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Lemsip manufacturer ‘doing all it can’ amid demand spike

Pharmacy News

Lemsip manufacturer ‘doing all it can’ amid demand spike

Lemsip manufacturer Reckitt has told Pharmacy Network News it is ‘doing all it can’ amid reports of shortages of popular cold and flu remedies.

Patients and pharmacists have spoken out about availability issues affecting Lemsip, Night Nurse and other products on social media in recent days, with the Daily Mail reporting yesterday (January 2) that there are fears of a “national shortage”.

Lisburn superintendent pharmacist Brian Brolly told Northern Ireland newspaper The News Letter: “Everything is more extreme this year in terms of medication - both over the counter and behind the counter from the dispensary too.”

Responding to these concerns, Reckitt told PNN: “We are seeing significantly increased demand during the current cold and flu season. We are doing all we can to minimise disruption to our customers and consumers.”

Another manufacturer told PNN that it is facing unprecedented demand for some cold and flu products and has ramped up production in response.

Meanwhile, a Boots spokesperson commented: “We have seen higher than usual demand for Lemsip. There is still availability in many of our stores, and although there may be temporary shortages in some, there will normally be suitable alternatives available. If in doubt, customers should speak to their pharmacist for advice on alternatives. 

“Customers can check product availability at stores near them on We also encourage people to minimise the risk of winter viruses by making sure they have had their flu jab and covid booster, if eligible.”

These reports follow the severe difficulties faced by pharmacies in December as they tried to source phenoxymethylpenicilin medicines for patients amid an outbreak of Strep A. After denying that there were shortages of these medicines, the Department of Health and Social Care eventually introduced seven Serious Shortage Protocols.

Leyla Hannbeck, chief executive of the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies, tweeted that the news shows that the “medicine supply concerns continue” as supply “is struggling to meet the demand” for common flu remedies.

She added: “For months we’ve asked [the DHSC] to suggest solutions and plan better, but no action yet, why?”

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