Christmas and the New Year is traditionally a time of hope and renewal, but, as the prescriptions pile up, it is hard for pharmacists to feel any sense of optimism.
We await the Government’s long-term plan for the NHS, but in the meantime the funding cuts are really taking their toll in the form of squeezed cashflow, job losses, reduced services, shelved investments and poor morale.
The chronic instability in the medicines supply chain continues to make life almost impossible for both pharmacists and patients. The endless price hikes, shortages, quotas and, frankly, the indifferent attitude often shown by pharma company personnel on the other end of the phone are sucking the life and energy out of the sector. And did anyone mention Brexit?
Still, at least NHS England is on top of it. In a late entry to the 2018 Teaching Grandma to Suck Eggs Awards, its medicines shortage guidance contains such gems as: “If a prescribed medicine is out of stock, ensure all options to help the patent get their treatment have been considered…”
All of which make the wonderful efforts on behalf of their patients and communities by the likes of Dushyant Patel, Ade Williams, Amish Patel, Kyle Brown, Bhanu Chohan, Naveed Razzaque, Angela Lewis, Shahean Khatun and Joanne Sandland – just some of the amazing pharmacists and pharmacy team members featured in Pharmacy Magazine and Training Matters over the past 12 months – all the more remarkable. We salute you and raise a glass to pharmacists and pharmacy staff everywhere.