A shortage of medicines has not been addressed and continues to affect patients across the UK, according to a survey of pharmacists.
The overwhelming majority (98%) of respondents believe the scarcity of certain drugs is having a negative impact on patients.
The survey of 396 Lloydspharmacy branches found that half (50%) of their pharmacists were spending between one and three hours a week phoning round stores and suppliers trying to locate vital drugs.
When the issue was highlighted last year it became apparent that drugs intended for UK patients are being exported for sale abroad in order to take advantage of exchange rates.
The latest findings, supported by the Patients Association, suggest the situation has not improved. And pharmacists are critical of so-called quota systems introduced by many manufacturers because they do not allow flexibility if demand for a particular medicine rises unexpectedly.