Paracetamol 125mg suppository must be issued in place of a paracetamol 120mg suppository, the Department of Health and Social Care has said.

A Serious Shortage Protocol (SSP) was issued on Thursday 16 February ‘in response to a significant ongoing disruption to supply’.

It allows pharmacists to supply patients with an alternative medication without the need for them to ask the prescriber to issue a new prescription.

It said that for every paracetamol 120mg suppository originally prescribed, one paracetamol 125mg  suppository must be supplied instead.

The SSP is currently set to expire on 5 May 2023.

In accordance with the SSP, pharmacists will be reimbursed one Single Activity fee of £1.27 plus one SSP fee of £5.35, as well as the reimbursement price for paracetamol 125mg suppositories.

SSPs are currently still in place for eight formulations of phenoxymethylpenicillin V (Pen V), which were due to expire at the end of January but have been extended until the end of February.

In a letter to the Prime Minister last month, pharmacy leaders said that medicines supply could be at risk without an urgent investment from the government in the pharmacy sector.

They have also called for a medicines taskforce and a medicines supply roundtable to resolve ongoing and widespread issues and potential reforms.