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Shortage of drugs led pharmacists to warn "the consequences could be further hospital admissions or even fatalities"         "They will not explain their imposed quota system and they will not discuss the issue directly." Shortages were "out of hand and nearing catastrophe" - Andrew McCoig, the chief executive of the NHS pharmaceutical committee for Merton, Sutton         "Before the introduction of manufacturers' quotas, the market for medicines worked effectively. No longer can patients be assured that if they walk into a pharmacy their medication will be available immediately or within an acceptable timescale." - Calderdale and Kirklees local pharmaceutical committee         Four in five NHS trusts in England & Wales say patients are suffering "unacceptable" delays for drugs         Lives at risk by shortage of critical medicines because pharmaceutical companies are rationing drugs, NHS leaders warn         A survey of 60 NHS authorities found that the shortage was doing patients "serious harm", with patients facing delays of up to 6 months - (The Telegraph 22 June 2012)         Imposed rationing to stop sale of drugs abroad has made the shortages much worse, say NHS leaders and pharmacies. - (The Telegraph 22 June 2012)         "The current restriction in supply imposed by drug companies is harming the public and must be addressed urgently." - Prof John Parkes, the chief executive of NHS Milton Keynes and Northamptonshire



Unanswered questions relating to the independent wholesaling industry


Is it unethical for small independent pharmacies to dabble in the world of wholesaling?

The simple answer is NO!

Like currency traders, wholesaling assists efficient markets by equalising prices across Europe, which in turn means EU governments save money on the healthcare costs and this in turn saves lives. It also helps larger drug companies make greater profit which can be reinvested into R&D, which will benefit the patients.


Does independent wholesaling lead to UK patients suffering?

The simple answer is No!

We know for a fact that large retail chains do not have quotas in place and also that the large vertically integrated wholesale / retail companies also wholesale and export. An example case would be how OTC Direct-Alliance Unichem owned supplies are parallel imported into the UK and elsewhere.

Drug companies have the means by which they could potentially make a higher quantity of drugs but choose not to!


Is the process of wholesaling illegal?

The simple answer is No!

The GPhC have clearly stated that the previous RPSGB regulation no longer applies, contrary to the popular belief that people have been informed that it does.

Also it must be clearly stressed that the MHRA have stated "wholesaling is a legitimate activity!"


Why are large pharmaceutical companies saying there is a shortage of stock?

The former CEO of Smithkline Beecham has stated that currently "Large pharmaceutical conglomerates spend 25-30% of their earnings on sales and marketing, and then spend 15% on R&D. They will need to swap these two items round if they want to create earnings in the future."

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