The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) has asked the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to convene a ‘medicines supply taskforce’, following weeks of problems with antibiotics supplies.

The NPA’s chief executive Mark Lyonette wrote a letter to Steve Barclay this week. It cited the precedent of the HRT Taskforce which this summer brought together representatives from across the supply chain after months of supply problems affecting women.

“We strongly believe that this situation calls for a similar response from the government. It is imperative that we resolve this supply situation urgently and therefore we request that you convene a Medicines Supply Taskforce, with all the relevant stakeholders in the supply chain, to urgently discuss and agree practical solutions to address the disruptions to the supply of medicines. HRT and antibiotics are the most visible examples of a wider problem with medicines supply which needs to be addressed.”

NPA board members Olivier Picard and Reena Barai were among the stakeholders joining meetings convened by the HRT Taskforce this summer.

Olivier said: “Getting people together is a necessary part of the process of fixing this chaos, because the whole system needs to work effectively, from top to bottom.  It’s not just HRT and it’s not just antibiotics, it’s a systemic and long-standing problem and needs government to grip it.”

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