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Most medicines don't suffer shortages, claims government

Department of Health says no additional action is needed in response to all-party pharmacy group survey on supply problems

EXCLUSIVE

The Department of Health (DH) has stressed that the “vast majority” of prescriptions are not subject to supply problems, in response to calls from a parliamentary group to step in to tackle shortages.

A DH spokesperson told C+D that it is aware that shortages occur "on occasion", and stressed it continues to work closely with members of the supply chain to mitigate the impact of shortages on patient care.

Call to action

The all party pharmacy group (APPG) wrote to pharmacy minister Alistair Burt last Friday (June 10) and called for a meeting to “consider actions” to improve the situation of pharmacists and patients dealing with medicine shortages.

The letter detailed the group's survey of pharmacists, GPs and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in the north-east of England. It found that 56% of pharmacists surveyed were "almost certain" to be out of stock for a prescription at least once a day.

The survey also highlighted that 48% of pharmacists said shortages may have resulted in their patients receiving “moderate medical treatment”.

APPG chair Kevin Barron MP said that, while the group appreciates that some shortages are impossible to prevent, “good preparation and early warning” would help minimise the impact.

Sir Kevin added he would welcome the opportunity to meet with Mr Burt to discuss the APPG’s findings in more detail.

The DH said it would "respond fully to [the letter] in due course." 

 


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