Politicians urge health department to consider over-ruling EU law to tackle drug shortages in UK

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 22 May 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e3464
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

MPs and peers have called on the government to consider over-ruling European Union law to tackle the growing problem of shortages of drugs in the United Kingdom, which is adversely affecting the care of patients.

A shortage of some NHS prescription drugs has been a problem in the UK for the past four years and is getting worse, says a new report from the parliamentary All Party Pharmacy Group.

The effects have been felt by some patients with conditions such as epilepsy, schizophrenia, and diabetes because they have not been able to get essential drugs when needed.

The All-Party Pharmacy Group, which comprises MPs and peers from the three main political parties, carried out a six month inquiry into drug shortages.

In its report, published on 15 May, the group found that shortages have been caused principally by the export of drugs …

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