NHS: Drugs

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 8th February 2019.

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Photo of Emma Dent Coad Emma Dent Coad Labour, Kensington

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the frequency with which pharmacies and hospitals experience drug shortages.

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The production of medicines is complex and highly regulated and materials and processes must meet rigorous safety and quality standards.

The Department has well established processes to manage and mitigate the small number of medicines shortages that may arise due to manufacturing or distribution issues.

It should be noted that over two million prescription items are dispensed in England every day and the vast majority are not subject to supply problems.

Our number one priority is to ensure the continued supply of medicines which is why we continue to work closely with industry and partners in the health system to help prevent shortages and to ensure that the risks to patients are minimised when they do arise.

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