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APPG: government must spend to resolve stock shortages

Supply chain A week before the pharmacy minister is due to speak out on stock shortages, APPG chair Kevin Barron (pictured) says he hopes the DH is taking shortages "more seriously than they have in the past".

The government must be prepared to spend to sort out medicines shortages, all-party pharmacy group (APPG) chairman Kevin Barron MP has said ahead of a meeting with pharmacy minister Earl Howe next week.

It was not good enough for the Department of Health (DH) to compensate pharmacists through the contract for the burden of chasing stock*, Mr Barron told C+D in an exclusive interview on Tuesday (November 13).

"We should be spending a few million to find out what the problems are and how we resolve them," he said.

"We should be spending a few million to find out what the problems are and how we resolve them" Kevin Barron, APPG

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Mr Barron's comments came a week before Earl Howe is due to respond to the APPG's inquiry into medicine shortages next Tuesday (November 20) and he said he hoped the minister "has got the answers".

"I'm hoping the minister's going to be able to come and say that we now know how we're going to measure it properly... this is what we think we're going to do to overcome the problem," Mr Barron said.

He wasn't convinced "top people" in the DH understood what caused stock shortages and "what size the problem was".

"I hope the Department of Health is taking it more seriously than they have been in the past," Mr Barron added.

*The regulatory burden component of the annual contract settlement includes funding to recognise stock shortages.

How do you think the government can resolve stock shortages?

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