Patient Safety Threatened by Shortage of Vital Medicines
11.00am Saturday 28th April 2012. Pharmacists have strongly criticised the shortage of key medicines, which is posing a risk to the health of some patients. The Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) called on the Department of Health to ensure that an adequate supply of vital medicines is constantly available, so threats to patient safety are minimised. The call came at the IPU National Pharmacy Conference, being held this weekend in Galway.
Speaking at the Conference, incoming President of the IPU, Rory O’ Donnell said, “For a number of years pharmacists and patients have had to put up with medicine shortages, causing significant distress all round. The latest example is the shortage of Eltroxin, a drug used to treat thyroid problems, a common disorder. It is not acceptable in this day and age that the health of some patients is compromised due to a shortage of medicines”.
“Adding to these concerns is the fact that pharmacists typically receive little or no warning that these medicines are going out of stock and there is often little information on when these stocks will be replenished. The Department of Health has a responsibility to ensure that there is an adequate supply of vital medicines. They need to take their responsibility to patients seriously and take immediate steps to solve the existing problems of medicine shortages,” concluded O’ Donnell.