Community Pharmacy continue to face operational, financial and workforce challenges which are leading to unplanned temporary closures and risks to the long- term sustainability of Community Pharmacies.
This has been caused by several factors including systemic pharmacy funding cuts, workforce issues growing staff costs, rising energy bills, inflationary pressures, and increasing instances of dispensing medicines at a loss due to market and pricing issues.
In addition, medication shortages are currently causing a significant impact on patients, Community Pharmacy, General Practice, and wider NHS stakeholders.
A national MP CPE briefing on Medicines Shortages can be found here
Medicines shortages and supply issues can be caused by a variety of factors from manufacturing issues, regulatory problems, raw material shortages or distribution issues, to drug recalls, stockpiling, or simply increased demand. Multiple drug groups and conditions are affected by supply and pricing issues these include drugs used in diabetes, epilepsy, HRT, and antibiotics used to treat Strep A which experienced a surge in cases at the end of 2022 beginning of 2023.
These issues can result in long term out of stocks and intermittent supplies impacting Community Pharmacy, patients, GPs, and the wider NHS. This is also leading to varying stock availability in different community pharmacies and therefore confusion over the overall stock availability at any given point in time. This situation is changing daily.
It is recommended that Community Pharmacy and General Practice maintain open communication channels and work together to resolve any issues minimise any impact on patient care and ensure continued access to medicines. The GM GP Pharmacy interface principles can be found here
The GM ICS has also developed local guidance and information for specific therapy areas to support the management of Medicines shortages which can be found below
In response to the National supply shortage of prescribed medication for ADHD, a GM task and finish group led the development of the following supporting guidance:
- National Supply Shortage of prescribed medication for ADHD – A Guide for Secondary Care
- GM Pathway for the management of patients prescribed medicines for ADHD during the national shortage – primary care guidance
- Patient information – “National Supply Shortage of your prescribed medication for ADHD”
This guidance is now available through the GMMMG website here.
GM ICP website: Help and advice on medicine shortages
CPE guidance and supporting information
Advice for Primary Care including guidance for CP around current supply issues for ADHD medicines
In order to support you a letter has been written including guidance on how to deal with these current pressures and support patients during the current shortage