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HDA Media And Political Bulletin – 1 September 2016

Extremely rare for a generic drug to be in shortage, says BGMA

31 August 2016, Pharmacy Business, Neil Trainis

 

The British Generic Manufacturers Association has come forward to defend its member’s record following concerns that GP’s are struggling to get hold of certain medicines. A recent survey by GP Online exposed that 82% of 441 GP’s have been forced to prescribe a second choice drug as the first choice was unavailable. A further 18% of these GP’s also stated that this resulted in patients experiencing negative effects, such as harm or a slower recovery. GP Online could not reveal what proportion of the drug shortages were generic drugs however Warwick Smith, the Director General of the BGMA felt compelled to reassure the industry that generics manufacturers almost always fulfil their medicine supplies.

 

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Extremely rare for a generic drug to be in shortage, says BGMA

31 August 2016, Pharmacy Business, Neil Trainis

 

The British Generic Manufacturers Association has defended its members’ record over the availability of generic medicines by insisting shortages are “extremely rare” after concerns were raised that GPs are struggling to get hold of certain medicines.

Pharmacists’ struggles obtaining drugs has been well documented. Rajiv Shah, a director at Sigma Pharmaceuticals, told last year’s Avicenna international conference in northern Cyprus that generic drug shortages cost independent pharmacists in England £10 million a year, sparked by factors such as volatility in the supply chain, imbalances in the market, exportation of medicines out of the UK and increasing competition driving down the price and profitability of generics.

Now the difficulties experienced by GPs has been thrust into the spotlight. A recent survey by GP Online revealed that 82% of 441 GPs who took part were forced to prescribe a second choice drug in the last year because of a shortage and 18% of those GPs who prescribed another medicine said patients went on to experience “negative effects…including harm or slower recovery.”

GP Online was unable to reveal what proportion of unavailable drugs in the survey were generics but the BGMA felt compelled to insist that generics manufacturers almost always fulfil medicines supplies.

“It is extremely rare that patients are unable to access a prescribed generic medicine. There is only one example in the past three years where the Department of Health has had to provide guidance to use an alternative,” Warwick Smith, the director general of the BGMA (pictured), told Pharmacy Business.

“We take very seriously our responsibilities for ensuring a reliable supply of medicines for patients and regularly monitor our delivery service levels. The generic medicines industry meets 94% of orders on time in full.

“Having many alternative suppliers of generic medicines in competition maintains low prices for the NHS and makes the supply chain more resilient.

“Over time, there will be variation in the quantities of generic medicines in the supply chain. But it is extremely rare for a generic medicine to be unavailable.”

HDA Media And Political Bulletin – 1 September 2016

From Factory to Pharmacy

As part of our mission to build awareness, understanding and appreciation of the vital importance of the healthcare distribution sector, we developed an infographic explaining the availability of medicines. It identifies the factors that can impact drug supply, as well as the measures that HDA members undertake day in, day out to help mitigate the risks of patients not receiving their medicines.

See the Infographic

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