Medicine Shortages

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.

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

ADHD medicines

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 

Medicine Shortages – Community Pharmacy England (

Worsening medicine shortages linked to Brexit and more – Community Pharmacy England (

Our response to BGMA report on medicines supply issues – Community Pharmacy England (

A national MP CPE briefing on Medicines Shortages can be found here

GLP-1 Agonists

GM-GLP1-Pathway-FINAL-16-Oct-23.pdf (

Local guidance 

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

Advice for PC Current Supply Issues with ADHD Medications

Stock Shortages Guidance for Pharmacies and GP practices – (summary document)

Stock Shortages Guidance for Pharmacies and GP practices.


Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs)

SSPs are a potential way to help pharmacies to manage any serious shortages of medicines that may occur, without needing to refer patients back to prescribers.

To help you stay up to date, CPE regularly publish information around active SSPs.

To ensure correct payments for SSP claims are received, contractors should follow the endorsement requirements outlined in the specific supporting guidance for each SSP.

More top tips and helpful reminders on the correct SSP endorsement and submission .