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NPA meets HRT tsar to address drug shortages

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In a recent meeting with the head of the government’s HRT Taskforce, Madelaine McTernan, the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) board members gave a gist on the ongoing HRT medicines supply issues in community pharmacy.

The meeting, which explored possible solutions to end the nationwide shortage of some Hormone Replacement Therapies, took place on Friday (May 20).

Independent contractors Reena Barai and Olivier Picard gave the so-called ‘HRT tsar’ an overview of the medicines supply issues in community pharmacy and discussed the new Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) which the government introduced in response to the on-going HRT disruption.

Earlier this month, the NPA attended an HRT summit organised by the Department of Health and Social Care, alongside other pharmacy bodies, wholesalers and manufacturers.

Health secretary Sajid Javid and pharmacy minister Maria Caulfield said they would be working collaboratively with manufacturers to meet demand and boost supply.

The NPA welcomes the new SSPs published last week and commends Madelaine McTernan for her determined and communicative approach since her appointment.

Commenting after the meeting, Picard said: “Madelaine is working hard to grip this complex issue. We welcome the 10 new SSPs which go some way to tackle the supply disruption, but we continue to press for longer term solutions that would empower pharmacists to use their professional judgement to provide alternative medicines. We also want to see progress in relation to pharmacies’ ability to share stock without a wholesaler dealer’s licence in the event of shortages.”

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