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The Times this week reports that as a result of supply problems there are shortages of ‘at least 100’ medicines within the NHS. This has resulted in some cancer patients and people with severe mental illness going without essential medicines. It is also reported that in the last six months, this supply shortage has cost the NHS £180 million.
The NHS has been forced to approve temporary price rises of up to 4,000% to boost stocks, and the NHS is spending more than £50 million a month overpaying for the medicines. However, according to the article in The Times, some pharmacies are still running out of certain medicines for days at a time and are having to ‘turn[..] patients away’.
The Times reports that ministers are investigating this supply problem amid fears that the market ‘is being manipulated to drive up prices’.