Urgent action is needed to tackle the worsening problems UK patients are facing when trying to receive their medicine prescriptions. In response to the results of a medicine stock survey of pharmacists conducted by Chemist & DruggistMagazine, the ABPI has expressed serious concerns about the risks for patients and is calling for urgent Government action to tackle the root cause of the problem - those who are selling medicines intended for UK patients overseas to take advantage of exchange rates for profit.
Richard Barker, Director General of the ABPI said: “Our primary concern is for patients. Manufacturers have supplied more than enough medicines to satisfy patient demand in the UK but there is still not enough getting through to the front line. We believe that the problem is worsening, despite joint efforts by the Supply Chain Forum. The Government must take action to deal with unabated trading by those who continue to put profit before the well being of NHS patients.”
“The ABPI has presented two very specific proposals to Government that we believe will resolve the problem. Since shortages result from a minority of pharmacists trading medicines intended for UK patients, the roles of pharmacist and wholesaler need to be clearly separated, as they are in a number of other European countries. We are also calling for the Government to introduce much more stringent criteria for the holders of wholesaler dealer licences to ensure they have the professional qualifications to fulfil their obligations responsibly and have appropriate facilities to hold a full range of NHS products.”
The pharmaceutical industry in the UK is committed to maintaining a reliable supply of medicines, and the ABPI is working with the Department of Health, pharmacy professionals and other trade bodies to find a sustainable solution.
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For further information, please contact the ABPI press office: 020 7747 1410.