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GP surgery blames Brexit for drugs shortage

PUBLISHED: 06:22 16 May 2019 | UPDATED: 06:38 16 May 2019

Holbrook and Shotley GP surgery in Holbrook Picture: GOOGLEMAPS

Holbrook and Shotley GP surgery in Holbrook Picture: GOOGLEMAPS

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A doctors' surgery near Ipswich has warned its patients of shortages in some medications due to the complexities around Brexit and stockpiling.

Holbrook and Shotley Surgery says in its monthly newsletter, written by practice manager Julia Smith, that it may have to switch patients onto different drugs or ask that they vary their dosage.

The warning has been posted on various local Facebook groups to make sure patients are aware of the issues.

According to the NHS website, the surgery is responsible for more than 7,900 patients.

The newsletter reads: "We are experiencing some short supplies in medications.

"This is a national problem and due to some of the complexities around Brexit and stock piling.

"We will endeavour to fulfil your prescription but sometimes we may have to switch you to a different drug or ask you to take half a tablet or two tablets to maintain your dosage.

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"Please be reassured that we will do the best that we can for our patients and work hard in the background to source items for you."

The Department of Health has previous stated it has stockpiled six weeks' worth of medicine for the public in case of shortages of drugs normally imported from the European Union.

Supplies of prescriptions and vaccines in the county is also being closely monitored and were part of a risk assessment carried out by all of Suffolk's clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) as part of preparations if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

The CCGs had also been preparing for a potential increase in demand associated with a no-deal Brexit and are drawing up 'incident management' plans with other NHS providers.

Catherine Butler, Head of Medicines Management at NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "The NHS occasionally experiences fluctuations in the availability of specific medicines.

"A number of factors can contribute to medicine supply problems such as overall global demand, manufacturing issues, availability of the raw materials and product recalls.

"GP practices and pharmacy teams are working hard to manage any current supply issues and make sure that patients get the medicines they need."

The surgery has been contacted for comment.

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