A PHARMACIST has assured the public not to panic over fears life-saving drugs to tackle Strep A could be about to run out.

Penarth has been acutely affected by the strep A crisis with Victoria Primary school girl Hanna Roach tragically dying of the infection.

Now there are concerns antibiotics – particularly penicillin - are about to run out as parents rush to get their kids checked for every sore throat and sniffle.

The Welsh Government were today forced to issue a statement admitting they were working to replenish stocks of antibiotics.

Within Penarth itself the picture is a little less chaotic.

One local pharmacist described how his stock levels were ok and urged people not to panic – this was despite admitting his pharmacy – which he didn’t want named – had seen a tenfold increase in prescriptions for antibiotics since the strep A crisis.

“There has been an immense surge in demand,” said the pharmacist, “but at the moment we are ok. We are not completely run out. We were close. Supplies have been a wee bit patchy, but I think we have weathered the worst of the storm.”

However at another pharmacy in the area, they painted a completely different picture, saying they really struggled to deliver - especially liquid form antibiotics - and urged people to follow government advice and to be sensible.

“We’re having to switch to tablets to try cope with demand,” said the pharmacist, who also did not wish to be named.

“You have to listen to the advice – there has been eight cases in the whole of the UK, it is not an epidemic. This is about awareness and knowing your child.”

The Welsh Government admitted they have been caught cold by the crisis saying they are working to make sure supplies of antibiotics are replenished.

“We are working with the UK Government medicines supply team and other partners to make sure pharmacies in Wales have the supplies they need,” said the statement.

“We are confident suppliers are working to address any supply issues, should people have difficulty in obtaining their prescription they may need to visit a different pharmacy or in some cases ask their GP to prescribe an alternative treatment.”

Are you concerned about the Strep A situation in the Penarth area? Let us know in comments or email wa-barryandpenarth-news@me.newsquest.co.uk.