An internal document which was circulated by the medicine supply team at the DHSC catalogues a number of lifesaving medicines that the NHS is running out of. Some of the seventeen new drugs listed include treatments for mental health, eye conditions, cancer and Parkinson’s. Furthermore, the document exposes constant supply issues with sixty-nine different types of drugs and medications such as hepatitis vaccines, heart condition medications, tuberculosis antibiotics, diamorphine, multiple cancer drugs and anti-epilepsy drugs.
The Director of the Health Initiative at Transparency International, Rachel Cooper, said: “Shortages of medicines risk price distortion at the expense of health budgets, disrupt patient drug regimes and can undermine public health objectives. The public deserves full transparency of pricing structures and the reasons for and financial implications of drug shortages.”
“The NHS is experiencing shortages of drugs and medicines. “
An ABPI spokesperson said: “For new on patent medicines there is an agreement between the government and pharmaceutical companies to cap NHS spending growth on branded medicines at two-percent, with anything over this paid back to the government. Manufacturers know that any medicine shortage is extremely worrying for the people affected by it and they do everything they can to prevent medicine supply problems occurring and to resolve them quickly if they do happen.”