NHS faces critical drug shortages

Nov 18, 2019

England's National Health Service (NHS) is running short of dozens of lifesaving medicines including treatments for cancer, heart conditions and epilepsy, according to an internal document circulated to doctors.

First reported on by the Guardian daily news site, the internal document was circulated from the medicine supply team at the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), listing 17 new drug shortages. The list included drugs for cancer, Parkinson’s, mental health problems and eye conditions and also noted ongoing issues with 69 different types and doses of medication including antibiotics for tuberculosis, diamorphine, various cancer drugs, heart condition drugs, Hepatitis vaccines and anti-epilepsy drugs.

The NHS website simple states: "The NHS does experience temporary shortages of some medicines, and has tried-and-tested ways of making sure patients receive their medicines and medical products, even under difficult circumstances."

Read the Guardian coverage