Britain is facing a drug shortage that could leave millions of people without access to basic medication, a report has warned. Pharmacists have said there are shortages of almost every major type of medicine – including painkillers, contraceptives and diabetes tablets. This includes common painkillers, blood pressure pills and hormone replacement therapy (HRT), typically used to support those experiencing menopause symptoms.
That’s according to a poll by Chemist + Druggist which has revealed the worrying drug crisis that could affect millions of those in desperate need of medical treatment. It said that almost half of pharmacy teams now spend more than an hour every day trying to source medicines by calling GPs and wholesalers. Pharmacists added that they are living “on a knife-edge” due to the mass shortages, which are caused by a perfect storm of manufacturing problems.
Dr. Farah Jameel, a GP from the British Medical Association, called for “urgent action” and said the shortages are “gradually getting worse”.
A massive 84% of the 402 pharmacy personnel and employees claimed to have experienced shortages of HRT in the last six months.
Two-thirds said they’ve had to deal with scarcities of contraceptive pills and more than a fifth stated that they had faced shortages of diabetes drugs.
More than half also said they had run out of pain-killing creams at some point in time.
The nationwide research revealed a shortfall throughout all 36 major categories of medicines.
“Shortages are occurring more recurrently both in the UK and all over the globe. This is due to a range of reasons including but not restricted to an increase in global demand, the upsurge in cost and availability of raw materials, fluctuations in exchange rates and certain manufactures discontinuing unprofitable medication lines.”