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Distressed Patients Suffer Panic Attacks as UK Medicine Stocks Hit by Shortages, Chemist+Druggist Reveals
Date:8/21/2009

TONBRIDGE, England, Aug. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Medicine shortages have left patients extremely distressed, with some seeing their conditions deteriorate and even being admitted to hospital, a Chemist+Druggist (C+D) survey has found.

Of more than 150 community pharmacies that responded, almost a third said patients had already suffered because the pharmacy had had difficulty sourcing a medicine.

Pharmacists have reported growing difficulty getting hold of key drugs throughout 2009. Drug giants say they are unwilling to release extra stock as medicines will be exported to Europe by parallel traders.

However, pharmacy leaders have condemned big pharma, accusing drugs firms of "washing their hands" of medicine shortages.

Eighty nine per cent of the pharmacists surveyed by C+D said they were "very concerned" patients would be affected by the ongoing shortages.

Roger Odd, a trustee of the Patients' Association, said: "There are 50 or more medicines that have been out of stock, it's unbelievable. It can't be right for patients to be suffering like this."

Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs condemned the situation as unacceptable, and Howard Stoate MP, chair of the All-Party Pharmacy Group, said its members were "extremely concerned" that patients were unable to access medicines. The APPG would look into the issue when the House reconvened in the autumn, he added.

C+D received many accounts of the effect of shortages on patients, including several who had been caused stress or seen their conditions worsen. One pharmacist reported that a patient had panic attacks waiting for Cipralex, and another said the wait for Femara had caused "extreme distress."

In another case, a patient's blood pressure had increased while waiting for Aprovel, and for one a shortage of Plavix had contributed to a hospit
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SOURCE Chemist+Druggist
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