The PSNC has reminded pharmacy teams across the UK to report any difficulties drug quotas have caused them in sourcing medicines.
The negotiator says it has received more than 230 reports from contractors relating to over 60 drugs that have been affected by quotas from manufacturers or wholesalers since the launch of its reporting form in June.
The PSNC said the report had unearthed four main issues: problems with prescription validation processes; challenges with reduced wholesaler arrangement (RWA) distribution models; pharmacy teams spending significant time navigating quota allocation processes to get hold of individual products; and a few reports of quotas causing harm or risking harm to patients.
Almost half of the pharmacists who responded said they had failed to get hold of stock despite carrying out wholesaler or manufacturer-led prescription validation.
Nearly a third said quotas meant they were spending over two days trying to get hold of a drug.
“The quota arrangements that PSNC is receiving feedback on applies to a relatively small number of branded medicines only, ie, mainly those distributed by manufacturers and the three national wholesalers,” HDA executive director Martin Sawer told Independent Community Pharmacist.
“The PSNC has shared all their feedback with HDA and we are actively working with PSNC and other pharmacy bodies to ensure and communicate better understandings throughout the supply chain on the need for quotas and the equitable management of the stocks available to distribute.
“HDA member companies, supported by other stakeholders, report to HDA that without quotas in place on a small selection of products, shortages and supply shocks would be far worse for pharmacists.
“For example, the very large number of wholesale dealers' licences in the UK (over 2,000) creates inequitable demand pressures on some of these products.”
The PSNC said it is working with the Department of Health and Social Care, Healthcare Distribution Association, Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry and manufacturers to try and resolve the issue.