Medicine scaremongering must be challanged

Medicine scaremongering must be challanged

by Jonathan Stanley
article from Wednesday 4, September, 2019

DAVID NICHOLL is a Consultant Neurologist, well respected in the management of Parkinson's Disease and Epilepsy. His clinical work is highly valued.

He is not on the Pharmacy register. He is not a pharmacist. The logistics and management of medication stocks by wholesalers, manufacturers and pharmacists has nothing to do with doctors.Repeat, nothing to do with doctors. I know. I am one.

Pilots likewise do not maintain jet engines. In the absence of Yellowhammer being published his claims about drug shortages must be backed up by written evidence from pharmacists.

The idea that dry medication in sealed blister packs cannot be stored in a warehouse is ridiculous. Patients prescribed anticonvulsants or for that matter antidepressants and anti rejection medicines for kidney transplants are routinely given several months of medication in this form.

I have emails from a major American drug company that supplies insulin to the UK that stated back in February that they had insulin stockpiles in excess of what the government had required of them and were taking all steps required to maintain their cold storage supply chains.

This is the gold standard regarding drug supply. If you can ensure highly perishable drugs can be stockpiled for weeks in cold storage then we must see the advice David Nicholls received before writing his chapter.

For medicines supplied in liquid form such as syrups there are Special Manufacturing Units in NHS hospitals that routinely compound unlicensed medications from bulk dry ingredients. Again we need to see they have been contacted to confirm they cannot manufacture certain drugs.

In regards to current drug shortages, we have been importing Epilim equivalent drugs from Canada to deal with shortages of Epilim manufactured within the EU.

If we do not see this evidence now, from Nicholls, then we have to say his claims do not stack up. We value our experts within their fields. We should have no time for expert drift. Medicine supply is a clean discipline outside the control of doctors.

The standard we must hold is evidence based policy and we have not seen any. Expert opinion is classed as the lowest grade of evidence.

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