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Medicine supply problems double in a year

Medicine supply issues have soared in the past year, with the number of unavailable medicines nearly doubling from 52 in January 2022 to 97 this month, figures seen by HSJ reveal.

Analysis of NHS supply alerts shared with HSJ shows a persistent monthly rise over the past year in the number of unavailable drugs. It also reveals that 12 “serious shortage protocols” – a more serious level of alert which allow pharmacists to dispense alternatives more easily – have been issued this month, compared to three in January last year.

This is based on an analysis by the British Generics Manufacturers Association of NHS Specialist Pharmacy Service (SPS) medicines supply tool data. SPS data, seen by HSJ, shows several “high impact” shortages, which means they have the potential to change clinical practice or have safety implications.

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Source: HSJ, 26 January 2023


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