Profiteering Creates Drug Scarcity in U.K.
Posted on Jun 23, 2012
In order to profit from high exchange rates on the international market, British pharmacists and wholesalers have limited the amount of certain drugs being sold to the National Health Service. The decision has resulted in a shortage that has endangered patients with life-threatening conditions and inconvenienced many others.
Labour MP Huw Irranca-Davies found that as many as 70 drugs were unavailable in some places and that some patients had to go up to six months before getting the medications they needed.
—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly
About 80% of 60 health trusts in England and Wales are experiencing “unacceptable” delays in obtaining drugs because pharmaceutical firms have capped the amount they will sell to the NHS.
Patients with Parkinson’s disease and organ failure are also among those affected by trusts running out of particular medications and unable to get fresh supplies.
Freedom of information responses from primary care trusts (PCTs) in England and health boards in Wales shows that patients are suffering “serious harm” as a result, with some admitted to hospital after their doctor’s inability to obtain the right drugs left them needing hospital treatment.
aldenchadwick (CC BY 2.0)