This site is intended for health professionals only

Home / News / EXCLUSIVE: Gossip contributes to shortages, wholesaler says

EXCLUSIVE: Gossip contributes to shortages, wholesaler says


By Léa Legraien
Reporter

15 Jun 2018

Gossip about the supply chain can lead to shortages, a major wholesaler has said.

Speaking at the Pharmacy Forward event in Birmingham on 10 June, Sigma Pharmaceutical Plc director Bharat Shah said that the circulation of false information and gossip tends to feed shortage issues.

He also said that Category M reimbursement prices often reflect medicines prices from six months previously.

 

Lack of transparency

 

Mr Shah argued that shortages sometimes happen because of a lack of transparency in the system and price increases not being communicated properly.

He told delegates: ‘There’s false information, often gossip, which is a real problem.

‘One issue we have is that when there is gossip that something is going to be short, wholesalers get double stock. In normal circumstances, we sit on about four to six week stocks but sometimes we sell six-weeks of stock in a week.’

Echoing Mr Shah’s comments, Pickford’s Pharmacy Group chief executive and superintendent pharmacist Mukesh Lad told delegates: ‘The supply chain is extremely complex – [there are] too many smokes and mirrors.

‘You have no idea when volatility is going to occur as there’s a lack of information and it’s down to the way our industry is structured.’

The alternative to Category M is a tender system, which ‘we don’t want in this country as [community pharmacists] would only earn a professional fee’, according to Mr Shah.

 

Collaboration needed

 

Mr Lad added: ‘There are so many different players in the market. In order to devise a solution, [we need] collaboration between the different parties.

‘At the moment, one party doesn’t know the impact of what they do on the other and as we [pharmacists] are at the end of that chain, we don’t have much power.

‘The only way we can resolve this is through Government’s investment into a consultation looking at all the different places and come up with some proposals in terms of structure.’


Want news like this straight to your inbox?


Latest News

A pharmacist looking at a tablet screen
Pharmacies to expect an extra 275,000 CPCS referrals due to algorithm review
Community pharmacies can expect to receive more referrals from NHS 111 for the Community Pharmacy...
Lateral flow test
Covid self-isolation can end five days after positive test
From today, people who have tested positive for Covid can now end their self-isolation after...
declaration of emergency
Exclusive: Government considers extending pharmacy declaration of emergency
The declaration of emergency which allows the flexible provision of pharmaceutical services may be extended...