Doctors believe drug shortages are causing patients harm, survey finds

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5th September 2016 11:56 - Pharmaceutical

Doctors believe drug shortages are causing patients harm, survey finds: According to a survey by GPonline, General Practitioners feel that patients are being affected by a shortage of drugs, with four in five doctors admitting to have been forced to prescribe a second-choice medicine in the last 12 months as a result of the shortage.Doctors believe drug shortages are causing patients harm, survey finds

The survey gathered the opinions of 441 General Practitioners to reveal that in the last 12 months 82 per cent of the survey respondents had not been able to prescribe their first choice in medicine to patients, and been left with no option but to prescribe the second best, directly as a result of the drug shortages. Only 12 per cent of the doctors in the survey said that they had not experienced this, whereas the remainder were unsure.

Of the General Practitioners who had been left with no option but to prescribe their second-choice of medicine, 18 per cent said that the patients had developed negative side effects of the prescription as a result, some of which experienced slower recovery or harm. Further to this, 43 per cent were not aware that their patients had experienced any negative side effects as a result and 39 per cent were unsure.

Many of the General Practitioners in the survey displayed frustration at the situation, which some of the respondents revealed had occurred numerous times.

One respondent said that one of their patients had suffered because the medicine they needed was not manufactured for a period of time. As well as this, another respondent said that although none of their patients has experienced major side effects, some had admitted to having had experience increased side effects.

One General Practitioner said that the issues were causing patients to experience inconvenience, rather than direct harm.

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