To help manage the shortage of the antibiotic phenoxymethylpenicillin (Penicillin V), we have made a Serious Scarcity Substitution Instrument (SSSI).
Phenoxymethylpenicillin is a type of antibiotic that belongs to a group of medicines called penicillins. It is used to treat bacterial infections that are sensitive to this ingredient, including acute pharyngitis, tonsilitis, scarlet fever, acute rheumatic fever and dental infections.
declares phenoxymethylpenicillin oral liquid and suspension products as scarce medicines
specifies the substitute medicine as per the substitution protocol provided in the table included in the SSSI.
While phenoxymethylpenicillin oral liquid and suspension products generally are in short supply, some have limited availability. This SSSI allows a pharmacist to provide another phenoxymethylpenicillin product when the prescribed medicine is unavailable, without prior approval from the prescriber. The pharmacist will then notify the prescriber of the substitution soon after and will include the correct instructions to the patient for the provided phenoxymethylpenicillin product.
The SSSI allows a pharmacist to offer to the patient or their carer:
an alternative phenoxymethylpenicillin oral liquid or suspension product when the prescribed one is unavailable
phenoxymethylpenicillin 250mg capsules or 250mg tablets where the prescribed dose is divisible by 250 mg.
The SSSI is in force from 17 April 2023 until 30 September 2023. It may be extended if the shortage continues, or the TGA may revoke the SSSI before its end date if the serious scarcity is resolved, or safety concerns are identified. This SSSI is in effect in all states and territories.
The Department of Health and Aged Care acknowledges First Nations peoples as the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia, and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures, and to all Elders both past and present.