Supply shortage of certain medicine causing “extreme distress” in patients

According to a recent survey published on the website of Chemist & Druggist, as many as 50 out-of-stock medicines have become a reason for "extreme distress" for patients, who are facing inconvenience due to the shortages in supply.

In the nearly 150 community pharmacies surveyed, almost one-third reported that patients have been troubled by the shortfall of certain medicines, including those for breast cancer, blood clots, and antidepressants. Nearly 90 of respondents stated they were "very concerned" about the short supplies.

The short supply, as per the pharmacists, pertains chiefly to the breast cancer drug Femara; and the blood clot drug Plavix; anti-depressant Cipralex; and had, as such, led to anxiety among the patients who are waiting for the requisite stocks to arrive at the drug stores.

It is the supply chain issues that are largely responsible for the bothersome shortage of branded medicines at the pharmacies, thereby making it exceedingly difficult for them to get hold of certain drugs. Moreover, to some extent, the growing export market for medicines, and production quotas set by drug manufacturers also have a role to play in the supply shortages.

Commenting on the rather alarming situation, Roger Odd, a trustee of the Patients' Association, said: "There are 50 or more medicines that have been out of stock, it's unbelievable. It can't be right for patients to be suffering like this."