Pharmacists warn of shortages in England

pharmafile | January 18, 2019 | News story | Medical Communications access, pharmacists, pricing, shortages 

Pharmacists in England have warned that they are struggling to obtain many common generic medicines, as the number of medicines on the ‘shortage of supply’ list has almost doubled since October 2018. Pharmacists are paying higher prices as a result.

While the UK Department of Health and Social Care had agreed to pay a premium for 45 medicines in October, the figure now sits at 80 medicines as shortages drive prices up.

The number of medicines on this list has tripled over the past three years. However, the figure spiked in November 2017, when 91 medicines were recorded on the list.

Increased demand, the cost of raw materials, new regulatory requirements, exchange rate fluctuations, and generic companies being unwilling to carry on selling unprofitable products are all to blame. Others have speculated that Brexit uncertainty could be making matters worse.

Louis Goss

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