PSNC press coverage: Antibiotics supply and pharmacy pressures

PSNC Chief Executive Janet Morrison has appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme to discuss antibiotics supply disruption and the disruptive impact this is having on the community pharmacy sector.

As part of a wave of national media activity in recent days, Janet highlighted the difficulties pharmacy teams have encountered when trying to get hold of antibiotics. She also described how unfair drug pricing must not leave pharmacies to make up the shortfall between what the Government pays for medicines and the prices that wholesalers and suppliers are now charging.

Listen to Janet Morrison on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme:

PSNC and the other national pharmacies bodies also provided information to a number of national journalists over the weekend about ongoing concerns for antibiotics supply, and provided commentary which was featured in most of the resulting articles. Much of the coverage focussed on significant increases in the prices of antibiotics being used to treat cases of Strep A.

PSNC Chief Executive Janet Morrison told The Sunday Times:

“Unfortunately the current issues with antibiotics are just the tip of the iceberg for pharmacies: this month we expect to see more medicines than ever on our ‘concessions list’ which indicates pricing issues. And we are still hearing from thousands of pharmacies every month who are having problems buying hundreds of different medicines at affordable prices. It is chaotic.”

Whilst the Financial Times reported that Janet had told them that pharmacies were at “breaking point” and were “helpless against market forces that are working against them, and urgently need government assurance that all medicines will be available, and not at wildly inflated prices”.

Janet was also quoted along similar lines in the Mail on Sunday and the Evening Standard, and we also briefed The Telegraph.

PSNC has been clear that the issue of pharmacies footing the bill for NHS medicines themselves has been going on for months now and it cannot continue. Government and the NHS need to fix this, and fast. The situation is being exacerbated by growing capacity pressures and the underfunding of the community pharmacy sector.

Pharmacy pressures

PSNC also continues to work hard to increase the pressure on Government to support pharmacies through the funding crisis affecting the sector. This includes taking all opportunities to raise awareness of the critical pressure on community pharmacy patient services and the need for a funding uplift.

PSNC Chief Executive Janet Morrison appeared on Sky News on Saturday morning talking about this:

A related Sky News story reported that local pharmacies are “close to the edge”, quoting PSNC when referencing the level of declining funding for the sector.

To support this campaigning work, we are now also urging contractors to contact their local MP to outline the severity of the funding pressures and the impact it will have on patients if it continues. Contractors should ask MPs to take up the cause with Ministers.

To help with this we have launched a range of resources which are available on our new local influencing webpage.

Support the call for more funding by recording the informal advice you provide over just one day.

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