Buying research antibiotics in the UK
December 21, 2010 1:32 PM   Subscribe

In the UK, what are the laws surounding the purchase of research-grade antibiotics?

I know that antibiotics graded for human consumption can only be purchased with a perscription, or by doctors, hospitals, etc. I'm not looking for those.

I'm helping to establish a DIYBio group (amateur biology lab) and we'd really like to do a bit of microbiology, for which we require research grade antibiotics. My assumption was that we can't buy these without some sort of license, but several people I've mentioned this to -- who I'd expect to know about these regulations -- seem to think that I should be able to buy research-grade stuff without any problems.

A couple of suppliers look like they'd be happy to sell this stuff to me but they assume that their customers are all going to be professional research labs who'd have any relevent licenses sorted.

(a) In the UK, can I as a private individual legally buy research-grade antibiotics?
(b) If not, how can our group go about getting a suitable license?

If it matters, we're probably after amipicillin (or Carbenicillin) and possible kanamycin.
posted by metaBugs to Science & Nature (2 answers total)
Hmm, looks like you can buy carbenicillin at

I also found ampicillin...

I'm actually surprised about this in the US....but no luck finding it them on

You say that a few suppliers look happy to sell, but have you actually just tried going to websites and seeing if they'll ship? you never know....
posted by Tandem Affinity at 9:06 PM on December 21, 2010

There are no restrictions on this. You can order 5g of ampiciilin from Sigma now, for £32.80.
posted by roofus at 4:34 PM on December 23, 2010

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