Medicine shortages could increase hospital admissions, charity warns

13th July 2011

Drug shortages in the UK could increase hospital admissions and leave people with heart problems without treatment for days or even weeks, a charity has said.

Dr Dermot Neely, chairman of Heart UK's medical and scientific research committee, told GPonline.com the charity had noticed a "growing number" of complaints from patients unable to get hold of supplies of lipid lowering medications from local pharmacies.

He said the problem means patients "may have to go for days or even weeks without treatment".

"Particularly affected have been those patients who have been unable to tolerate standard statin treatments and are taking less commonly prescribed medicines to control their high cholesterol levels," he told the website.

Dr Neely explained that given it can take a few weeks for patients to build up required doses of medications, any interruption to supply can be significant.

"If a large number of patients were to be affected, this apparently minor supply problem could lead to an increase in hospital admissions," he was quoted as saying.

Recent research in the US has suggested a link between salt-rich and potassium-light diets and the risk of dying from heart problems.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

"Drug shortages could increase hospital admissions, heart charity warns". GPonline.com. July 13th 2011.

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