Medical authorities ask people not to stockpile medicines amid shortage crisis – – Our News, Your Views

Medical authorities ask people not to stockpile medicines amid shortage crisis

The number of medicines in shortage in Ireland has continued to increase.

Data released by the Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency shows that 216 medicines are currently low or out of stock.

These include common over-the-counter remedies like dry cough syrup and sore throat sprays, as well as lozenges.

It comes as pharmacists say HSE information about drug supply issues will be “arriving four to eight weeks late”.

Sheena Mitchell of Milltown Total Health Pharmacy in Dublin said the information pharmacists receive is often out of date.

Speaking to RTÉ’s Today with Claire Byrne, she said they have been running out of supplies “several months now” and some of the out-of-stock drugs belong to the treatment of Strep A infection.

She said there are also “ongoing issues with paracetamol coming in and out of stock, and that has affected both the dispensary supply of paracetamol but it’s also now starting to creep in to over-the-counter remedies that people would be used to buying to treat their symptoms”, reports RTE.

Shortage of medication: no need to panic

Drug shortages are nothing new and part of a global problem.

The current difficulties are exacerbated by the increase in influenza, Covid-19 and respiratory infections.

It would be wrong for people to worry too much about not getting their medication.

There’s also no reason to stock up on medication or over-the-counter products, as this will disrupt supplies to others.

If a particular GP-prescribed medication is not available, it can usually be prescribed and dispensed at an alternative pharmacy.

However, switching prescriptions can cause delays as the pharmacist may need to contact the GP for a shortage of the medicine originally prescribed and obtain a different prescription.

The HPRA in Ireland monitors medicines shortages and states that 216 medicines are currently in short supply or out of stock.

In the event of bottlenecks, older generics are often also available.

Some of the difficulties stem from the different prices paid in different countries, and pharmaceutical companies may be willing to shift shipments to countries where they can get the best price.

An additional problem is that while there are bottlenecks all over Europe, Ireland is somewhat at the end of the pipeline.

Azure Pharmaceuticals CEO Sandra Gannon said essential medicines must have at least one other source from an independent manufacturing and supply mechanism.

Referring to the same system, Ms Gannon said that currently 40% of medicines come from a single source and this makes it “very complicated” as there are no other licensed suppliers available in the market to meet demand.

“In the case of the medicine index that we’ve done this month, there are 84 individual medicines that don’t have any alternatives available, so the only alternative there is to go and source unlicensed medicines from other markets and pay the differential in price between Irish reimbursement price and the markets elsewhere. So if you want to buy amoxicillin to cover the shortfall here, you’re buying it at twice the price of the reimbursement price here,” she said, reports RTE.

Tell us your thoughts in the Facebook post and share this with your friends.

Share this story with a friend

Share this story

Tell us what you think on our Facebook page