Monday, August 19, 2019
Listen to Stuart Gale Superintendent Pharmacist of Oxford Online Pharmacy discuss the recent shortages of medicines and in particular HRT with Rachel Burdon on BBC Radio 5 Live.
"I feel that the whole pharmacy supply chain over the last 4-5 years has got considerably worse than it was previously. There doesn’t seem to be the same resilience in the supply chain any more. It is a global network of just in time supply and as soon as they is an issue with a factory or a particular product the whole supply dries up.
This is extremely frustrating for pharmacists, doctors and patients alike. Patients are often forced to wait for a supply or an alternative. In addition to this pharmacists and their team have to spend hours each day chasing stock from numerous wholesalers and getting prescriptions changed by the patient’s GP. All of this is very time consuming. Most patients will know how long they have to wait on the phone to get through to a doctor and pharmacy staff are no different.
Sadly this comes at a time when Community Pharmacy is on its knees. The NHS has cut funding and crippled the sector putting it into crisis. It's very sad for all the people that work incredibly hard in the pharmacies with very little reward.
Oxford Online Pharmacy has been inundated with requests for HRT products over the last few weeks. Fortunately we carry quite a number of these products in stock and are usually able to help our patients with a suitable alternative so they can continue their treatment uninterrupted.
As usual it is the pharmacies on the front line that bear the brunt of these problems. We are usually up to the task but for how much longer in this current climate of NHS cuts."