Prescribing and clinical reference tool MIMS has introduced a live MIMS product shortages tracker
The information is free to GPs and nurses, and to practice pharmacists on email request, but are not exhaustive, MIMS says. Suppliers with an out of stock notification to add to the database are asked to email MIMS.
In a survey of 586 GPs conducted by GPonline earlier this year, 31 per cent of GPs reported spending an hour or more each week dealing with the effects of medicines shortages – potentially writing new prescriptions or carrying out follow-up appointments.
More than half of respondents said they had ‘often’ been forced to prescribe second-choice medication over the past year because of drug shortages.
There has been widespread speculation that the increase in medicine shortages is linked to Brexit. However, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) has insisted that medicine supplies are ‘unaffected’ by the UK’s departure from the EU and will therefore not improve as a result of the Brexit deadline being extended to 31 October 2019.
The number of drugs on the PSNC’s price concessions list, which gives an indication of which drugs are in short supply, reached a record high in March.
Supply shortage notifications are also being added to the DDA website. The most recent update is dated 24 May.