Part of The Pharmacist’s series of case studies on how stock shortages are affecting ordinary pharmacists, a London contractor explains what effect they are having on his business 

Meir Kattan – owner, Kalmak Chemist, London

'Shortages have been a difficult time for us as we are trying to source from various wholesalers. The truth is, we are ‘just’ managing.

'I would hazard a guess that we have lost around £20k over the last three months.

'Luckily, we deal with two major wholesalers and a secondary one so the shortages have affected us more in terms of time spent in getting medicines.

'With prices increasing on a monthly basis, we are not given the generic medicines shortages prices (NCSO) until well into the month so we cannot keep a check on items dispensed at maybe a higher price than the Drug Tariff price.

'There are also times of no drug availability so contacting the GP is necessary if a patient has already tried to get their medicines from other pharmacies.

'The shortages have also increased our workload on price changes.

'The future is not likely to change as the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) does not seem to have any power and NHS England does not recognise these problems.'

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