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Ballinrobe pharmacist urges public not to panic over medicine shortages

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ADVICE Ballinrobe pharmacist Joanne Hynes advises people not to panic during current medicine shortage.

Oisín McGovern

A BALLINROBE pharmacist has urged people not to panic amidst the ongoing shortage of over 200 medications.
Speaking to The Mayo News yesterday (Monday), Joanne Hynes asked people to give plenty of notice to their pharmacists to ensure that they can dispense their medication on time.
Her comments come as the authors of the Medicine Shortages Index, Azure Pharmaceuticals, have identified 224 medicines as being out-of-stock in Ireland.
Ms Hynes said that the problem has persisted for a few years but had become ‘a lot worse’ in recent times.  
“That 224 number doesn’t actually reflect fully the problems we’re having because they are the ones that the companies have admitted to the authorities that are short. But there are also supply issues [with medications] that wouldn’t be listed as ‘short’ that we may not be able to get,” she said.
Proprietor of Joanne Hynes totalhealth, Ms Hynes said that her pharmacy has been able to source medication for all their customers despite the ongoing difficulties.
She said the problem was being caused by ‘a myriad’ of various supply chain issues.
“Last year there was a big shortage of HRT. There was stock that just wasn’t available. It wasn’t, available here, it wasn’t available in England, they were even mentioning it in the British parliament, there was a big shortage. But for everybody who was on it, we managed to find an alternative for them to keep them going until the supply did come back in stock,” she said.
“I would say ‘don’t worry’. But the other thing is do your best to give the pharmacist a bit of notice. Don’t go down to your very last tablet and then arrive in and say ‘I need it tomorrow’. We then might be saying, ‘We may source it but it could take us a week’. So don’t let yourself run out.
“In the same breath, please don’t hoard six months of medication because we need to make sure everybody has some.”