At times there are problems with supplies of some medicines across the UK and this can be worrying for some patients.

Shortages can be caused for many reasons, but they are usually short term and the medicine will quickly return to normal stock levels. Occasionally, for a smaller number of products, a shortage maybe long-term, but this is very rare.

Most people should be able to get their prescriptions filled as normal, but when some medicines are in short supply, your usual tablets may not be readily available. If this happens, your pharmacist may supply you with the same medicine but from a different manufacturer and your tablets may look slightly different to what you are used to.

If your doctor has prescribed a specific brand of medicine that is not available, but alternatives are available from another manufacturer, you may be asked to speak to your GP so that your prescription can be changed.

What can I do?

Don’t worry. No-one wants to see you go without your essential medication

Make sure that you order your medication on time

Only order what medication you require. There is no need to stockpile medicine, and ordering too much may mean some goes to waste

If you have any unused medicine in your cupboard, use this before ordering any new medicine. Be sure to check the expiry date to make sure that they are still okay to use

If you need your medicine and there is no stock available, please contact your pharmacy and explain the problem. Your pharmacist will be happy to answer any questions that you may have about new medicines.