Intended for healthcare professionals


Drug shortages are fuelling patient complaints, doctors warn

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 28 November 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6742

Linked opinion

Securing regular medications is a lottery every month

  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

Worsening drug shortages are prompting frustrated patients to file complaints against their GPs, doctors have told The BMJ.

Warnings over medicine supplies have intensified in recent months, with reports of unprecedented shortages of drugs such as hormone replacement therapy, antihypertensives, and antidepressants. Last month the government introduced serious shortage protocols for the antidepressant fluoxetine, to allow pharmacists to supply an alternative strength or form of the drug because of shortages.1 Brexit is not viewed as the cause of what is a longstanding issue, but it is thought to be exacerbating the problem.23

Sally Johnston, a GP in Hampshire and chair of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Medical Committee, told The BMJ that she …

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