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Drug exports lead to shortages


Action is being urged to combat shortages in certain drugs brought on by wholesalers taking advantage of the weak pound and exporting stocks of medicines, according to a body of pharmacists.

Patients’ health could be at risk unless action is taken to address the issue of medicine availability, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB) said. It is thought the Government will seek a resolution to the problem by planning a summit next month.

More than 40 well known medicines for chronic conditions are in short supply and pharmacists have reported notable shortages, according to the group. Among the drugs with falling stock levels are anti-hypertensives, epilepsy treatments and some medicines to treat cancer and prevent rejection following an organ transplant.

The RPSGB said the weak pound in relation to the Euro had increased the demand for UK sourced medicines, while the supply of medicines from other EU states dwindled with their rising cost.

Neal Patel, pharmacist and RPSGB spokesman, said: “The Society fears that if we do not identify a solution through real understanding of the problem, then patient care will continue to suffer.”

Copyright Press Association 2010
Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain


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