Patients with life-threatening illnesses are struggling to get vital drugs from their pharmacies more than a year after ministers promised to tackle the problem, the Observer has established.
The shortages are so acute that patients are reporting problems finding ibandronic acid pills – known by the name Bonviva – used to fight bone cancer. The Observer reported last year that breast cancer sufferers were struggling to obtain the drug Femara.
The Labour government held a meeting with drugs companies, pharmacists and medical experts and promised action to tackle the problem. The trade body Pharmacy Voice said the shortages of crucial drugs were widespread.
\”There are supply problems with about 50 medicines, including drugs to treat cancer, Parkinson\’s disease, schizophrenia, depression, kidney disease, high blood pressure and epilepsy.\”
The soaring cost of the NHS drugs bill will fall sharply if ministers agree to the biggest shake-up in pricing policy in more than half a century.
Drug companies, who make billions of pounds in profits each year, will for the first time be forced to link the price they charge the National Health Service to the value the medicine offers to patients.
The proposed change is being made by the Office of Fair Trading, which has been conducting an investigation into the prices of medicines since September 2005.
Price controls, I see.
Really, no one could see that one coming, could they? Never been known at all that if you set prices lower than the market clearing price then shortages develop?
I dunno, maybe someone could set up some specialised branch of knowlege to study such things.