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HDA Media And Political Bulletin – 10 June 2016

Media Summary

APPG CHAIR ASKS BURT FOR MEETING OVER DRUGS SHORTAGES

9 June 2016, Pharmacy Biz, Neil Trainis

 

Pharmacy Biz reports that Sir Kevin Barron, chair of the All-Party Pharmacy Group, the APPG, has written to social care minister Alistair Burt requesting a meeting to discuss the ongoing issue of medicine shortages in the UK. Barron drew attention to a survey carried out by the APPG, which reveals that the problem of shortages has not been resolved yet. He added that: “the best action would be for the DH, NHS England and MHRA to work together to establish a system that accurately monitors medicines entering the supply chain, detects the shortage risks and helps supply chain participants alleviate the impact of shortages where they do occur”.

 

The full letter is available to read here.

Parliamentary Coverage

 

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Full Coverage

APPG CHAIR ASKS BURT FOR MEETING OVER DRUGS SHORTAGES

9 June 2016, Pharmacy Biz, Neil Trainis

 

Sir Kevin Barron, the chair of the All-Party Pharmacy Group, has written to the social care minister Alistair Burt asking to meet to discuss ways of solving the medicines shortage which continues to blight community pharmacy and endanger patients.

 

In his letter Barron (pictured) drew Burt’s attention to a survey carried out by the APPG revealing that the problem of shortages has far from been resolved despite the insistence of some in the pharmaceutical industry that the issue has been blown out of proportion.

 

Thomas Broeer, the vice-chair of the British Generic Manufacturers Association, told Pharmacy Business in 2014 when he chaired the organisation that generic drug shortages did not exist. During last year’s Avicenna conference in northern Cyprus, Sigma director Rajiv Shah insisted generic drug shortages cost independent pharmacists £10 million a year.

 

The APPG survey reinforced concerns that shortages remain a big problem, with 48% of community pharmacists surveyed saying shortages may have or did require patients receive “moderate medical treatment” when pharmacies were unable to dispense their prescribed medicine. Some 3% said this may have or did lead to a patient being hospitalised.

 

“Earlier this year, the All-Party Pharmacy Group and North of England Commissioning Support (NECS) conducted a survey to assess the impact medicine shortages have on NHS services and on patients,” Barron wrote.

 

“Those who participated in the survey were pharmacists in hospitals and in the community, and GPs and CCGs in the North East of England.

 

“Overall, it is clear from the survey that medicines shortages continue to occur. They cause inconvenience, stress and, on occasion, physical harm to patients. They cause disruption for health professionals and support staff, meaning that valuable NHS time is wasted on a regular and continuing basis.”

 

During the APPG survey 56% of community pharmacists said a medicine out of stock on a prescription presented at their pharmacy was “almost certain to occur” once a day and 36% said it was “likely to occur” once a week.

 

Forty-eight percent of community pharmacists also said they spent between 21 and 50 hours each month dealing with medicines shortages while 16% said they were spending 51 to 75 hours and 5% were spending over 100 hours.

 

“The survey asked for respondents’ views on the most helpful actions or solutions. Many felt that the best action would be for the DH, NHS England and MHRA to work together to establish a system that accurately monitors medicines entering the supply chain, detects the shortage risks and helps supply chain participants alleviate the impact of shortages where they do occur,” Barron wrote.

 

“I would welcome the opportunity for APPG officers to meet with you and representatives of the MHRA to discuss these findings in more detail and to consider actions that would improve the situation for patients and healthcare professionals.

 

“I hope we are agreed that GPs and pharmacists should spend their time diagnosing, treating and supporting patients rather than dealing with medicine shortages.”

HDA Media And Political Bulletin – 10 June 2016

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