Drug shortage in UK ‘worse than ever’, putting lives at risk: Report

2024-01-16 21:25:29
Drug shortage in UK ‘worse than ever’, putting lives at risk: Report

Medicine shortages are 'worse than ever' in Britain and are now putting lives at risk, pharmacists warned in a report.

Data shows 106 commonly taken drugs are currently out of stock across the UK — double the number recorded in January 2022.

Over the past two years, supply problems have hit crucial antibiotics and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) drugs, as well as type 2 diabetes and cancer medicines.

Now a treatment for controlling epileptic seizures has also been added to the list.

Experts warned supply problems are forcing some patients to switch to other brands and, in extreme cases, leaving cancer patients without medicines needed to control the spread of their disease.

According to the British Generic Manufacturers Association, there were 111 drugs on a shortages list on 30 October last year and 96 on 18 December, with supply notifications issued for a further 10 treatments to NHS providers in the UK since then.

It analysis suggests a 100% increase in shortages compared with January 2022, with pharmacists and health charities claiming the conditions of some patients were deteriorating as a result.

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