Hours on the phone to different wholesalers chasing down unavailable drugs. A huge list of concessionary prices that only seems to get longer every month. Worried patients concerned about running out of their medication.
Stock shortages have been one of the biggest problems plaguing community pharmacy in recent months. Such a big problem, in fact, that the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) says it has been inundated with reports from ‘thousands’ of contractors every month since last summer.
Something has clearly got to give. For not only do shortages pose a danger to patients, but also to pharmacists already struggling to make ends meet after months of funding cuts who are now being pushed ever closer to the edge with the huge cash flow problems that stock shortfalls present.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has recently amended its approach to setting concessionary prices, now basing these on ‘timely data’ from manufacturers. But this simply isn’t enough.
Pharmacists need more transparency about what is causing shortages and, more importantly, what is being done to resolve the problems.
To that end, we are launching our #WarOnShortages campaign to fight for the Government to share what it is doing to prevent shortages. But to do that, we need your help in gathering evidence to show the severity of the problem. Tell us how stock shortages have affected your business by taking our survey here for your chance to win a £50 John Lewis voucher.
Together, we can win the fight to create more transparency around shortages.
To find out more about stock shortages, come to our free sister event Pharmacy Forward on Sunday 10 June at the Birmingham Conference and Events Centre. Go to pharmacyforward.co.uk to register.