Medicines shortages

Pharmacies in the UK dispense millions of prescription items each year. Since 2021 there have been reports of increasing supply problems affecting medicines. Recent media coverage has highlighted shortages of medicines used to treat diabetes, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and epilepsy, as well as hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and others. This House of Commons Library briefing provides information on the causes and consequences of medicines shortages in the UK and internationally, and the UK government’s approach to addressing supply problems.