Pharmacies are hit regularly by supply problems with medicines for life-threatening conditions

The Sunday Times

Pharmacies and patients are feeling the impact of the increasing number of medicines in short supply, including those for life-threatening conditions. The latest press reports highlight the challenges that patients who rely on medication to treat and manage conditions such as cystic fibrosis are facing.

The Sunday Times reports that in the past 12 months, medicines to treat epilepsy, ADHD, menopause, and bipolar disorder have also been affected by short drug supplies.

We shared the following statement with The Sunday Times.

Our Chief Executive Janet Morrison said:

“Patients and community pharmacies are continuing to be hit by medicines supply problems on a regular basis. Supply issues regularly rank as one of the top pressures facing pharmacies, and in our most recent polling of the sector, many pharmacies have told us the situation is worse than ever before, and they remain worried about the impact on their patients.

The shortages affecting several medicines including anti-epileptic drugs, certain diabetes and cystic fibrosis treatments has led to delays in people receiving their medicines causing great anxiety and distress for patients due to the impact on the management of their condition(s).

The problems also put operational and financial burden on community pharmacies: pharmacy teams are spending many hours every week trying to source medicines, and this is diverting their time and attention away from other essential tasks including the delivery of vital services such as Pharmacy First. Pharmacies also often find themselves supplying medicines at a financial loss due to inflated purchase costs or inadequate reimbursement and this is exacerbating the long-standing funding issues they are grappling with.

Medicine supply issues are harming pharmacies and the patients they serve up and down the country and with alarming frequency. Government and the NHS must intervene now to stabilise the medicines market, tackle supply chain disruptions, and improve access to essential medications for patients.”

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Coverage:

I had to drive hours for the cystic fibrosis pills that keep me alive | The Sunday Times

 

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