Review needed into ‘broken’ medicine supply chain to prevent further pressure on the healthcare system

Potential impending drug shortages are of great concern and the Government should at the very least heed warnings from medical experts and commission a review into what is being described as a “broken” medicine supply chain.

The world is an increasingly uncertain place and as such the Government and health authorities need to better understand potential headwinds and put in place safeguards that protect the general public.

Shortages of the likes of antibiotics and medication for epilepsy are already putting pressure on patients, GPs and pharmacists. Pressures that the healthcare system could do without, given all the issues it is already faced with.

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While problems in the UK have not been caused by Brexit, there are issues globally with supply chains, leaving the European Union (EU) has exacerbated them. The fall in the value of the pound and the UK being removed from EU supply chains has had an impact. There is also a risk of the UK being left out of EU measures to respond to shortages, such as bringing drug manufacturing back to Europe.

A pharmacist stocking shelves at a chemist. PIC: PAA pharmacist stocking shelves at a chemist. PIC: PA
A pharmacist stocking shelves at a chemist. PIC: PA

The arguments around the positives and downsides of Brexit have gone on long enough. The consensus is that the country moves on.

But people didn’t vote Brexit to be deprived of much needed medicine. Therefore the Government should be seeking to work closely with European neighbours to ensure that the UK is at the forefront of procuring medicine. Patients requiring medical treatment already have a lot to worry about. The last thing they need to be burdened with is the anxiety of whether or not their medicine will be available.

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