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Northern Ireland: Community pharmacists warn of medicine shortages amidst rising costs

Shortages and rising costs of medicines could result in patients not receiving important prescriptions, community pharmacists have warned.

Commonly prescribed drugs used to treat conditions such as osteoporosis, high blood pressure and mental health are among those affected.

The Department of Health (DoH) said a support package worth £5.3m for the sector is being finalised. But Community Pharmacy NI said this "falls way short of what is needed".

David McCrea from Dundela Pharmacy said the price of some medicines had been raised "fiftyfold".

"As a community pharmacist for over 30 years, I have never witnessed the price of medicines rise this sharply," Mr McCrea said.

"It is becoming increasingly hard for us to afford to buy the medicines from wholesalers because we are not being paid the full cost of these drugs by the department."

Mr McCrea added the current situation was causing "financial stress" and was becoming unsustainable.

"The bottom line is that we are now facing the situation where we will not be able to afford to supply our patients with essential medicines, within weeks."

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Source: BBC News, 18 October 2022


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