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Pharmacists warn of drug shortages

  • 3 Comments

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.

  • 3 Comments

Readers' comments (3)

  • This situation cannot be allowed to continue. As well as being concerned about the potential harm to my patients, I am also concerned about my own health as I cannot obtain my usual prescription eye drops. I have spent considerable time phoning GP and pharmacist, the latter whom has sourced an alternative. However, I was still left for a few days with out of date eye drops. It is very worrying. Many thanks to all you hardworking and helpful pharamacists out there!

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  • 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.

    Just proves healthcare is all about money, not patients.

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  • Are you aware that inorder to have adequate continuous effective medication the patient should be having the same make of drug. Where money is an issue the more expensive drugs are substituted for cheaper brands. Different manufacturers differ in product quality and this will affect long term satisfactory treatment. A patient should have the right to ask the pharmasist for their medication to come from the same manufacturer but this is just not possible.

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