MSPs find serious failings in medicines system

Type: News Item Date Published: 30th June 2020
Photo of a set of weighing scales in front of shelves containing boxes of medication

A Scottish Parliament Committee inquiry into the supply and demand for medicines has said the system needs an urgent overhaul.

A stark report by the Health and Sport Committee describes a system “burdened by market forces, public sector administrative bureaucracy and under resourcing, inconsistent leadership and a lack of comprehensive, strategic thinking and imagination, allied to an almost complete absence of useable data.”

It says that the system needs to be overhauled urgently to allow for data to be collected and analysed more robustly, which would lead to better outcomes for people accessing support and services, as well as achieving cost savings for the NHS.

Reflecting on the report, the Convener of the Health and Sport Committee, Lewis Macdonald MSP said:

“The failure to adapt, improve and modernise the current system goes beyond the supply and demand for medicines.

“We found the lack of care taken to understand people’s experience of taking medicines impacted the system at every stage. The almost complete absence of data collection, or data sharing across the health service before the current COVID-19 crisis, or analysis of a medicine’s impact on patients, is staggering.

“Quite simply, patients deserve a better system than this.”

Read Health and Sport Committee report – ‘Supply and demand for medicines’ (this link will take you away from our website).

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