Statement on medication shortages

Medication supply chains are complex and shortages of specific medicines, brands, and products are unfortunately becoming increasingly common.
There can be a variety of reasons behind these shortages including manufacturing, distribution, or regulatory issues.

The pandemic has shown us that the medicines supply chains are typically fragile, often with multiple international touch points and servicing global markets, often with little in our immediate gift to control, when we experience a supply disruption.

The impact of these shortages is certainly not underestimated by the healthcare professionals working for patients who depend on these medicines and teams will aim to do their best to ensure continuity of care for those affected.
It is important to appreciate that it is extremely unlikely that the Pharmacy team providing medicines in a community, hospital or GP practice setting has the ability to resolve supply issues that occur much further upstream. Abuse being directed at Pharmacy teams is not only completely unacceptable, but also extremely unlikely to impact on the shortage situation. The decade long underinvestment in our workforce means that the NHS is now less able to absorb any changes in our supply chain.

Pharmacists are sometimes limited in their ability to supply alternative medications as these may require a new prescription although they can (and do) work alongside patients and their primary care professional (GP, nurse, other pharmacist) to resolve this as efficiently as possible.

The Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists (GHP) have been also working with pharmacist colleagues across Europe via the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) reporting medication shortages and supporting their work with patients and other healthcare professionals (
GHP support the vital work that pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, including the GHP subgroup, Procurement
Distribution Interest Group (PDIG), do to organise and supply medicines safely to each patient. We denounce verbal or physical abuse against anyone in the Pharmacy Team.

Best Wishes

Prof. Roisín O’Hare, (on behalf of the GHP National Executive Committee)
President Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists

Presidents Blog March 2022

16th March 2022

Dear all,

As Spring arrives, and despite the remaining impact of the pandemic, we are hopeful across the UK that some normality will return to our homes and work lives. Recalibration and rebuilding of our “new normal”, particularly in consideration of the backlog of work which the NHS must now tackle, will be challenging for all of us.

We in the National Committee (NOPC) for GHP wanted to update you on some recent events.

Read my full blog here.


International Women’s Day

On International Women’s Day, we are delighted to bring you a message from Dr Catherine​ Duggan, Chief Executive Officer, International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP)

What a privilege it is to be the CEO of FIP, with such a remit and role and with such teams of volunteers, officers and passionate professionals who champion pharmacy at every stage.

When I was appointed, I found myself proud and sobered by being the first female CEO of the Federation and, since then, have understood more and more that we must empower, support and enable all in our profession to have the opportunity to be the best they can be and that sometimes (sometimes) to use the being ‘’first’’ as something as a way to create paths for others. For me, that will be for other women in pharmacy, but must never be limited to this. 

Following the past two years, the global pandemic has pulled us together in many ways but also sharply contrasted the inequities and inequalities across our globe. The FIP vision for a world where everyone can access safe, affordable and effective medicines, this is a priority. For me personally, seeing inequity and inequality across our nations weighs heavily on my shoulder.

As we expanded the FIP workforce development goals to include all areas of practice and endeavour across pharmacy in 2020, we sought to expand the focus of Development Goal 10 (DG-10) from gender equity and equality in the pharmacy workforce to include all elements of equity / inequity we saw in sharp focus during the pandemic, our DG now encompasses equity around age, gender, socio economic status,  co morbidities, ethnicity, access. As we find ourselves in a fresh time of conflict, I am also reminded that many conflicts and wars and injustice carries on unnoticed, forgotten, dismissed and that the mantra for equity for all needs to be on all the lips of all- women and men. Uniting around this mantra is an ethical and professional  imperative. A good reflection for IWD 2022 and with a positive note to consider in these times, I am delighted to wish everyone at GHP a very Happy International Women’s Day 2022- here’s to a great IWD for all in GHP…..

Thanks a million.

Dr Catherine Duggan  |  Chief Executive Officer FRPharmS, Honorary Professor International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) Andries Bickerweg 5 | 2517 JP | the Hague | Netherlands Tel: +31 70 302 1970  |  Email: Website  |  Pharmacy Event Calendar  |  Publications

Ukrainian Crisis

Ukrainian Crisis – GHP guidance on humanitarian aid – 2/3/22

It is devastating watching events unfold in Ukraine since February 2022 where thousands of lives have been changed overnight. There have been several enquiries to GHP made by healthcare professionals who wish to help with medical supplies and pharmaceuticals donation. We have written guidance on what GHP members could do or signpost to when asked.

Sustainability Leads

Meet Barry Melia, our Chair of Sustainability

Barry is a Principal Pharmacist in the Clinical and Protecting Health Directorate of Public Health Scotland.  He has a background in a wide variety of practice including community, academia, primary care and public health.  His day job is to provide professional leadership and advice to a range of stakeholders on the use of medicines in Scotland.  Barry’s recently completed Masters in Public Health included a research project exploring the relationship between prescribing data and the environmental levels of pharmaceuticals at two sites in Scotland. He is passionate about the environment and also primary interventions, particularly where they have an impact on the mental health of our citizens.

Meet our new new Vice-chair for Sustainability, Ms Min Na Eii

Min Na Eii is an Advanced Pharmacist practitioner in Acute Medicine at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust.  She also works for the Integrated Urgent Care NHS 111 Pharmacist at North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust.  Min Na is a co-founder of the dynamic environmentally conscious group of Pharmacy professionals, “Pharmacy Declares” who are leading the agenda on calling for climate and health action, as well as leadership and education for all pharmacy professionals. She also recently published an article in the Pharmaceutical Journal to support pharmacists on how to make their workplace greener.

VCOD Statement

Statement on mandatory vaccination of NHS staff

1st Feb 2022

The Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists welcomes the news that DHSC has removed covid vaccine as a condition of deployment in England but highlights the enormous damage that has been done in pursuit of the flawed and ill-conceived policy.

GHP has always supported encouragement and not compulsion of vaccination. The NHS led vaccination programme has offered all relevant staff ample opportunity to have their vaccine and where staff have not taken this opportunity up, the reasons for them making those decisions need exploring and the staff need supported to address these rather than being pressured.

The threat of dismissal or redeployment of these staff placed enormous and unacceptable pressures on individuals, managers, services and employers. Damage has been done to relationships, people have been vaccinated when they didn’t want to be and people have left the NHS unnecessarily. All of this was entirely predictable and yet again this government failed to properly plan and execute a policy, resulting in the latest of many u-turns.

The decade long underinvestment in workforce means that the NHS is less able to absorb the damage that this episode has caused, and it should be noted that the chaos of the last few weeks will have impacted on patient care.

Our members now move on with the essential work our members undertake in delivering high quality patient care in the context of the continuing pandemic and recovery programmes.

Professor Roisin O’Hare (President) and Mr Ewan Maule (Vice President)

Download this statement.

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