Call to tackle medicine shortage

Lindsay Roy
Lindsay Roy

ACTION is needed to halt a medicines shortage.

That’s according to Glenrothes and Central Fife MP Lindsay Roy, who has urged the UK and Scottish governments to ensure patients can access what they are prescribed when they need them.

A report on shortage of prescription medication prepared by the British Independent Pharmacy and Wholesale Association of pharmacists highlighted NHS patients are facing difficulties getting 50 regularly prescribed medicines to treat medical problems, including cancer and diabetes.

A survey revealed that, in the last year, 80 per cent of pharmacies have been unable to dispense items or have had to call their local GP surgery regarding four or more prescriptions a week. Forty-five per cent said they were aware of a patient whose health has suffered in the past year as a result.

Factors responsible for the shortages, include increased price incentives for export and quotas imposed by pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Mr Roy said: “It is simply unacceptable that patients are left without their medicines. Something must be done urgently to fix this worrying problem and I have written to the Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley and Scottish Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon expressing my serious concern and urging them to take what action is necessary.”