MED­I­CA­TION SHORT­AGE ALERT

Chemists are strug­gling to sup­ply pa­tients with the medicines they have been pre­scribed, re­port­edly due to ex­ports and a lack of raw ma­te­ri­als

Costa Levante News - - FRONT PAGE - By Joe Wick­man

CASTEL­LÓN prov­ince phar­ma­cists are warn­ing that they are hav­ing trou­ble is­su­ing enough doses of up to 416 medicines.

The Of­fi­cial Col­lege of Phar­ma­cists has raised con­cern over the sit­u­a­tion. Just sev­eral weeks ago, chemists were strug­gling to pro­vide 371 types of medicine, so it is a sit­u­a­tion which is wors­en­ing rapidly.

They warn that, even though this is an is­sue that is be­ing felt across the coun­try, the ex­tent to which it is af­fect­ing Castel­lón is be­com­ing trou­ble­some.

They ex­plain this is due to ‘ex­port­ing medicines from Spain to other coun­tries and a lack of raw ma­te­ri­als’, adding that prices are reg­u­lated in Spain, but that there is free­dom of move­ment for goods across the EU, so it is en­tic­ing to ex­port said prod­ucts.

Col­lege rep­re­sen­ta­tives say that this prob­lem is usu­ally solved ei­ther by is­su­ing dif­fer­ent medicines with the same ac­tive in­gre­di­ents, or the same brand, but in an al­ter­nate form, i.e. pills in­stead of syrup. How­ever, a ma­jor­ity of peo­ple go to the chemist with a doc­tor’s pre­scrip­tion – mean­ing they can only be given one spe­cific item. This makes them have to go back to the doc­tor and get an­other pre­scrip­tion for a medicine that the chemist has in stock in or­der to not have to pay the full price, which ex­tends the whole process, giv­ing the health is­sue time to worsen, while fur­ther clog­ging up the health sys­tem with ap­point­ments that should not be nec­es­sary.

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