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Mental Illness and Cancer Patients Forced to Wait for Drugs

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There are worrying concerns across the UK that at least 100 drugs have been affected by supply problems which has forced health officials to agree to a temporary price rise of up to 4,000 per cent to increase stocks. 

Even though the NHS are paying more than £50 million in a month overpaying for medicines, pharmacies are having to turn patients away as they are scratching around or running out of drugs for days at a time.

Labour MPs and charities have joined forces to support an investigation into problems which have caused both cancer and mental illness patients to go without vital medicines. Prostate and breast cancer drugs, as well as epilepsy drugs and medicines used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, are among the drugs affected. Charities are worried about the effect of the lack of these drugs, which could potentially lead to an increase in breast and prostate cancer recurrence rates.

The government is working hard to try and rectify the problem as to why there are such shortages, fearing that the market may be being manipulated to raise prices. Warwick Smith, Director General of the British Generic Manufacturers Association, said "something unusual is going on in the supply chain" suggesting that wholesalers are artificially inflating prices.

Ken Lees, a Solicitor in the Medical Negligence team at Pearson, commented, "prescription drugs are provided for a wide range of illnesses and it is crucial that supplies are maintained. It is concerning to learn that there is a shortage of some drugs, meaning that many patients are experiencing gaps in their treatment".

"Reports of patients having to change to alternative medication raises concerns about whether they are as effective as those originally prescribed. Any change or disruption to the medication regime may have an adverse impact of the treatment and management of the underlying condition, particularly those relating to cancer treatment and mental health problems".

"Individuals with these health concerns are already under immense pressure and delays in receiving treatments can cause further uncertainty and anxiety. We will monitor the situation and hope that the NHS continues to fund the provision of theses vital drugs and work with the drug manufacturers to fix the supply issues at the root of the current problems".



Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

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