Part of The Pharmacist’s series of case studies on how stock shortages are affecting ordinary pharmacists, a Staffordshire contractor explains what effect they are having on his business
Kieran Eason – Owner, Eason Pharmacy, Tamworth, Staffordshire
‘The shortages have had a massive impact on my pharmacy – from the extra workload in sourcing the medicines and the hours poured over the drug tariff to the increased costs of the medicines themselves, which we aren't getting fairly remunerated for.
‘I have no idea of how much money we have lost, as it’s too hard to work out the exact amount. The price concessions come so late in the month, with the regular funding cuts on top coupled with the local cuts.
‘There are just too many things hitting at once.
‘Our NHS payments are all over the place. One month we get paid a reasonable amount, then the next month hardly anything.
‘We’re dispensing at a loss for a large number of items and cannot plan ahead because we have no stability in what the NHS is paying us or what we are paying for the medicines.
‘We’ve had to sign up to numerous new wholesalers and are ringing other pharmacies every day to source stock.
‘A large proportion of the time, patients have to be changed onto something else, which is an extra workload for the GP as well as being clinically dubious.
‘We haven’t been able to find a solution to cope with the pressures. The only solution is a national one.'
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