Drug wholesaler backs pharmacists’ warning over supply of prescription drugs in Northern Ireland

Pharmacy

An organization representing hundreds of local pharmacies, Community Pharmacy NI, issued a stern warning last month that drugs used to treat health conditions including osteoporosis, high blood pressure, insomnia, mental health and coronary heart disease, could soon be unavailable with a “very real” threat. to the supply.

The Department of Health, however, highlighted “immediate interventions worth over £5.3million” which it said would help pharmacists cope with rising costs.

Now, however, the managing director of Northern Ireland’s biggest pharmacy wholesaler, Numark, has said the £5.3million offered by Stormont’s government is not enough.

In a statement, Jeremy Meader from Numark said: “It simply cannot be acceptable that if the situation deteriorates further there is a real risk that community pharmacists will no longer be able to afford commonly prescribed medicines.”

He continued: “Clients tell us they have never seen such astronomical prices and fluctuations which, combined with drug shortages and underfunding, pose a significant risk to patient access. to essential care. These are not created by wholesalers, but a reimbursement mechanism that is no longer suitable for today’s medicine supply chain in Northern Ireland.”

Mr Meader added: “The Department’s recent offer of £5.3million is well below Community Pharmacy Northern Ireland’s (CPNI) estimate of what is needed to meet a cut in funding. £20m to £30m.”

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