Broadcast last night (November 19), the 37-minute episode of File on 4 on drug shortages cited C+D’s exclusive findings that pharmacy staff experienced shortages across 36 categories of medicines from March-September this year.
The programme cited C+D's revelation that 84% of pharmacy professionals polled reported shortages in hormone replacement therapy products.
The BBC claimed: “As a result, tens of thousands of women nationwide have suffered debilitating effects.”
Earlier in the day, C+D editor James Waldron was invited back to BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours programme, to discuss the causes and impact of medicine shortages.
Mr Waldron used C+D’s findings to explain how pharmacy teams are trying to help patients deal with the issues.
“As medicines experts, [pharmacists] and their staff do everything they can and really go out of their way, with significant extra workloads, to try and source medicines for patients,” he said.
C+D has been sharing some unpublished information from its shortages investigation with BBC producers over the last month.
What else did the File on 4 programme include?
R4: Turner @rpharms says that although the NHS pricing system keeps costs medicine costs low, "when it does go wrong, it can make things a bit more difficult for us to fix as we see shortages in the system"— Thomas Cox (@CandDThomas) November 19, 2019
R4: @HDAMartinSawer says "the majority of medicines maybe 70 to 80% of medicines will at some point have come into the UK, usually via another part of the EU". The length and complexity of the global supply chain is a key part of the problem— Thomas Cox (@CandDThomas) November 19, 2019
R4: One option for tackling shortages is switching to an alternative med. But chief executive of the @epilepsysociety, Clare Pelham, says that with epileptic patients even a "small switch can have life-changing consequences"— Thomas Cox (@CandDThomas) November 19, 2019
R4: Rifat Asghar-Hussain @reeyah1 says the level of medicine shortages today are "unprecedented"— Thomas Cox (@CandDThomas) November 19, 2019
R4: C+D blogger @tonihazellgp says medicine shortages used to be "occasional", but now "it is daily". She is frustrated that pharmacists can't dispense different strengths of a prescribed drug as "this is a power pharmacists should have at all times"— Thomas Cox (@CandDThomas) November 19, 2019