I shouldn’t have to spend large chunks of my day tracking down certain medicines or researching alternatives
As a GP, managing patients’ medicine requests has until now been a seamless process of writing prescriptions to send to nominated pharmacies to dispense. But drug shortages mean that many common medications are often “out of stock” so I have to identify and prescribe alternatives. Yet, it is not always apparent which alternatives are in stock and whether a problem is limited to a few pharmacies (with different wholesalers) or is a universal shortage.
All this takes lots of staff and patient time, and scarce resources, away from healthcare. If a shortage occurs during a busy on-call surgery or just before a holiday break, out-of-stock queries pile up.