The European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) has undertaken a survey of 291 UK hospital pharmacists and has reported that 60% of them experience medicines shortages on a daily basis, with just under 30% of those surveyed saying they experience medicines shortages on a weekly basis. 92% of respondents reported that the shortages are a problem compared with 86% in the last EAHP survey in 2014. The survey has identified that antimicrobial agents, preventive medicines (such as vaccines) and oncology medicines are most commonly in short supply. Almost 80% of participants want to see “greater legal clarity on the responsibility of manufacturers to report upcoming supply chain issues at an early stage”.
President of the EAHP, Petr Horák, said the results of the survey “underline again that medicines shortages are a pan-European problem that cannot be solved through national measures alone. Consequently, the European Commission should gather information on the factors causing medicines shortages and start to provide solutions that will help to solve preventable shortages.”
“60% UK hospital pharmacists subject to daily medicines shortages. “
Jackie Eastwood, associate director of medicines optimisation and pharmacy procurement at NHS London Procurement Partnership, said: “We are definitely experiencing a growing number of shortage of essential medicines in primary and acute care. A great deal of effort at all levels is being directed at trying to pre-empt them and managing and mitigating them when they do occur. Maintaining strong working relationships and timely effective communication between all stakeholders is a key part of this effort.”