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Shortages of key medicines is impacting patients' health

The lack of some anti-depressants, pain-relief medicines and eye ointments has gotten worse in the last 12 months.

Image: Drugs via Shutterstock

PHARMACISTS HAVE WARNED that shortages in key medicines is having an impact on the health of patients nationally.

The Irish Pharmacy Union has said that the lack of some anti-depressants, pain-relief medicines and eye ointments has gotten worse in the last 12 months.

They are now calling on the Department of Health to intervene to ensure there is an adequate supply of medicines to meet the needs of patients.

The survey of 200 pharmacists found that 98 per cent have noticed medicine shortages, particularly of drugs such as Cymbalta, which treats depression, Lyrica, for pain relief and Chloromycetin Eye Ointment, among others.

It also found that, on average, pharmacy staff spend eight hours per month resolving medicine shortages – “time that would be better spent tending to the needs of patients,” says president of the IPU, Rory O’ Donnell.

Almost half of all pharmacists surveyed say that patients’ health outcomes have been adversely affected by medicine shortages.

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The IPU also says the introduction of reference pricing will only exacerbate the situation, particularly if the reference price is set too low.

Read: Generic drugs are more expensive in Ireland than the EU>

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