The British Independent Pharmacy and Wholesale Association (BIPWA) has been echoing the affects of drug shortages on independent pharmacists and wholesalers, as there was not one group that represented them in the supply chain. Similar to BIPWA have been the efforts made by the APPG (All-Party Pharmacy Group) that have always aimed at raising awareness of the pharmacy profession, and to promote pharmacists' current and potential contribution to the health of the nation. The issues on supplies of medications and all aspects relating to the sector and its drastic impact on pharmacists & patients as a whole were recently taken up by the APPG.

At a recently convened meeting by the APPG (All-Party Pharmacy Group) , and other parties including the ABPI (Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry), MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency) and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society concluded that the UK’s medicines shortage is less visible as it was a couple of years ago however that the problem is far from being solved.



The APPG chaired by Labour MP Kevin Barron blamed the manufacturers for imposing quotas while certain onus was also thrown on the wholesalers. He specifically expressed that these quotas being opaque and rigid would render pharmacists liable to spend a large time negotiating to obtain medicines and would also have to ration medicines to manage the shortages. The APPG concluded that pharmacists were not able to source vital medicines which caused their patients immense stress and difficulty. The UK government was requested to address this medicine shortfall, while the Department of Health was requested to publish an updated supply chain guidance.

The APPG also agreed that sourcing generic drugs were turning into an issue and were therefore closing in on the banded one’s heels that too when 70% of the UK prescriptions were for generics.

The problems are being voiced out, an expected positive turn of events is now what is being looked at, such that the UK government and the Department of Health work towards a more concrete solution.

Source: in-pharmatechnologist



Most of the shortages relating to medicines have been putting patient safety at risk and piling pressure on family doctors to find second-choice alternatives i.e. generics to commonly-prescribed drugs.

A poll conducted on 635 GPs for the survey suggested that the vast majority of family doctors were forced to recommend a second-choice drug and eight in 10 GPs said that the problem had become shoddier during the last year.

One in three GPs told the magazine that patients had been “negatively affected” because they did not get the first choice drug for their condition, with problems ranging from longer recovery times to negative side effects.


GPs said that restrictions to pharmacists’ access to certain drugs from wholesalers and manufacturers had been a problem for the past five years. MPs investigating the problem in 2012 said that shortages were mainly caused by the export of branded medicines intended for the UK to other EU countries.

The call has been currently to the NHS to establish an alert system to warn GPs about shortages of medicines and for the Government to address supply-chain issues as efficiently as possible.

The wide impact of these , now overvalued medicinal products has been over increasing as their force of discontinuance does have negative health effects on the patients relying on them. The damage is to the extent that the life expectancy of the patient is a downslide on overall.

Issues relating to the scarcity should thus be more extensively addressed such that the occurrences of the above are reduced.

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