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Author Topic: Drug shortages for some patients  (Read 11696 times)
Ian Hemensley
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« on: 10 April 2011, 23:21 »

Some patients are being affected by medicine supply problems.

Over the past few months UK and Manx pharmacies have been experiencing increasing difficulties obtaining some manufacturer's products, which is leading to shortages for some patients.

There are many reasons for this issue according to Ian Hemensley, Pharmacist and Secretary of the Association.

He said: 'One problem is that many companies are now restricting which wholesalers can supply their products, in an attempt to reduce the risk of counterfeit medicines entering the supply chain.

'Another problem is the weak pound versus the euro which is resulting in the export of some drugs to the continent.'

He explained: 'In some instances, stock has to be obtained direct from the manufacturers, which causes delays and it is often even necessary to prove to the companies that these drugs are actually needed by faxing anonymous prescriptions to them.'

The problem has caused a major increase in the workload of pharmacies, he said, and has caused many patients to have to collect their medicines in a number of installments as and when stock becomes available.

'National pharmacy bodies are liaising constantly with manufacturers, wholesalers, the UK Department of Health and regulators to try and find solutions to these problems,' he said, 'but so far little headway has been made'.

'Unfortunately on the island the problem is made worse by the reduced number of deliveries we receive compared to UK pharmacies and during bad spells of weather when the boat does not sail – resulting in further delays.'

Many different types of products have been affected including some treatments for blood pressure and circulatory problems and recently even some brands of the contraceptive pill.

Mr Hemensley said: 'These problems are affecting all pharmacies, but I want to reassure patients that pharmacists and their support staff are doing all they can to ensure they are not left short of their regular medication.

'Many pharmacies are even operating a system where stock is shared to reduce the affect of the manufacturer's quotas and improve supply to patients.

'Where there is a long term supply problem, the pharmacy will contact the surgery to obtain an alternative medication that is available that will do the same job.'

He added: 'I would ask patients to be understanding of the problems that are being encountered and also while products are in short supply, to take extra care to only request item from their GP that are actually needed and not to stock pile medicines at home.'

Article published by IoM Newspapers see - http://www.iomtoday.co.im/news/health/drug_shortages_for_some_patients_1_3256160
« Last Edit: 10 April 2011, 23:23 by Ian Hemensley » Logged
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