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Alex MP urges Government to act to ensure patients can access the medicines they need

Local MP Alex Cunningham has this week urged the Government to take action to ensure patients can access the medicines they are prescribed when they need them.

Writing this week to the Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley MP, Alex raised the problems facing local pharmacies, and those across the UK, who are experiencing difficulties in getting the medicines which are regularly prescribed to patients on the NHS. Whilst drugs for cancer, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, depression, asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure and other medical problems are often in short supply at pharmacies, the Coalition Government is reluctant to take any action.

Recent online surveys by Lloyds Pharmacy and Chemist and Druggist Online of pharmacists have highlighted the scale of the problem. In the last year, 80% of pharmacists have been unable to to dispense items or have had to call their local GP surgery for four or more prescriptions a week; whilst 45% of pharmacists surveyed said they were aware of a patient whose health has suffered in the past year because of difficulties they had in getting a particular prescribed drug.

Alex said:

“In the midst of coming to terms with a serious medical condition the last thing any of us would want to face is the fear of not being able to receive the treatment we need, or have it interrupted because of a problem in obtaining the medicine we need. Yet, this is the situation many people in Stockton North, and across the UK, are facing. Pharmacists are working extremely hard, but they often can’t get the drugs their patients need when they need them.

“It is simply unacceptable that patients are left without their vital medicines, and we must force the Government to act to fix this serious problem.”