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Calls for change as medicine shortage hits Australia

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An urgent health warning has rung out Australia-wide with common antibiotics in short supply.

A total of 361 medications are listed as limited around the country, including 45 considered critical, the Sydney Morning Herald has reported.

Children's liquid antibiotics are especially limited.

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Families are being forced to search pharmacists for absent prescriptions, with pharmacists often forced to compound medicines to fill a crucial order.

The shortage is due to high demand, and is set to linger for several months.

The Australian Medical Association says it should be a reminder that domestically produced medications are preferred.

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The Therapeutic Goods Association last month issued a notice to say it would permit substitutions for oral amoxicillin prescriptions, "a widely used antibiotic used to treat many different bacterial infections".

The TGA claimed the shortage was due to "manufacturing issues" at a major supplier.

AMA deputy national president Danielle McMullen told the Herald that her organisation was calling for liquid antibiotic medications to be reserved for children, elderly people and people who have difficulty swallowing.

She said it was a sign Australia needed to develop local medicine manufacturing, rather than rely on international supply.



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