Pharmacists have identified Pfizer, Sanofi and Eli Lilly as the pharma companies that present the greatest difficulties in obtaining medicine supplies.
One-in-four (27%) pharmacists questioned in a survey by the Independent Pharmacy Federation (IPF) indicated Lilly as the most problematic, with 13% voting Sanofi and 12% naming Pfizer.
More than half (59%) of pharmacists said that more than five of their patients were affected by drug shortages in the past week.
The shortage has caused “real difficulties” says Fin McCaul, chair of the IPF, who hit out at manufacturers saying that pharmaceutical companies need to solve the problem.
Half of the pharmacists claimed they were spending up to three hours every week trying to obtain supplies from alternative sources.
“We cannot afford for pharmacists to be wasting three or four hours each week on this exercise when they need to be spending more time developing services for patients,” added Mr McCaul.
Stephen Whitehead, chief executive of the ABPI said: “Current challenges in the supply chain cannot be solved in isolation and will only be addressed by all healthcare partners working collaboratively to find an appropriate solution”.
The survey questioned more than 500 independent pharmacists. The IPF was originally set up in 2006 but was relaunched in June this year. The Federation has noted that independent pharmacies now account for 40% of the sector.
Click here to read Eli Lilly’s response to the survey.