A shortage of options on medicines?

The drug shortages crisis that has plagued the UK for the past two years has been tackled by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for pharmacy in a long-awaited paper. Read its full recommendations here.

Some say that it didn’t tackle the issue at hand; that after months of discussion, argument and expert advice we are left with a sense of 'so what’.

It isn’t quite that simple. The EU provides a free trading market and the exporting of drugs for cash gain is legal. The ethical question, though, is should the free market laws be adjusted when patient health, or ultimately life, is deemed a higher priority than the bottom line?

The easy answer is 'yes’ and the APPG recommends that Government considers this.

While the APPG’s recommendations are a positive step towards addressing the problem, the stark reality is that a box of pills continues to carry a vastly higher value in Europe than in the UK. Only a stronger sterling will force the market back home.

Dean Enon