Crisis for local pharmacies as they are left with empty shelves
A pharmacist has struggled with having to turn people away daily due to worsening shortages.
Nisha Dave, from Dave Pharmacy in Moneyhill Parade, Rickmansworth, says an ongoing pharmacy crisis is "dispiriting" as she has had to send people back to GPs to be prescribed something else or told them they will have to try another pharmacy.
After a visit from MP Gagan Mohindra, the pharmacist shared what she had told him about the immense pressure her business and thousands of other pharmacies across the country are under.
She said: “A lot of the time we dispense at a loss because there’s so many shortages.
“It affects a lot of drugs. You might end up with empty shelves or, when you manage to get it, the prices are huge.
"Because we deal with a set price we can end up dispensing at a loss.”
The National Pharmacy Association, which represents community pharmacies across the country, warned of an “emergency” of ongoing damage to the medicine network.
It warned “widespread pharmacy closures” would heap pressure on GPs and increase health inequalities.
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“They (the government) are cutting down on funds but getting rid of the people distributing the medicine is going to impact the public as it puts more pressure on GPs,” Nisha added.
“It’s normal now to not be able to give the medicine people need. Quite often you have to send patients back to the doctor to get it changed to something else.
“It’s so dispiriting, especially when they say they have been to 10 places already.”
Healthcare “never really recovering" from the pandemic, inflationary pressures, supply issues, and spikes in demand during outbreaks such as strep-A have all significantly contributed to the crisis.
Pharmacists are receiving 25% less funding than in 2014, Nisha explained, but “have ended up doing a lot more work than before while getting less for it".
“It’s like we have to take money out of our own pocket to make sure the patient is cared for,” she added.
After South West Hertfordshire MP Gagan Mohindra's visit, he sent Dave Pharmacy a letter thanking Nisha for speaking with him and explaining that he will be looking into these issues.