We've updated our Privacy Policy to make it clearer how we use your personal data.

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. You can read our Cookie Policy here.


Doctors Forced To Provide “Less Effective” Treatments to Patients Due to Medicine Shortages, Survey Reveals

Want a FREE PDF version of This News Story?

Complete the form below and we will email you a PDF version of "Doctors Forced To Provide “Less Effective” Treatments to Patients Due to Medicine Shortages, Survey Reveals"

First Name*
Last Name*
Email Address*
Company Type*
Job Function*
Would you like to receive further email communication from Technology Networks?

Technology Networks Ltd. needs the contact information you provide to us to contact you about our products and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For information on how to unsubscribe, as well as our privacy practices and commitment to protecting your privacy, check out our Privacy Policy

Read time:

Many UK doctors are being forced to provide treatments they feel are less effective for patients because of ongoing medicine shortages on the frontline during the Covid-19 pandemic, a major new survey by the BMA reveals1.

According to the member survey, 40% of doctors said current or expected shortages of medicines had at some stage left them with no option but to provide a treatment for patients they felt was less effective than the treatment they would normally use.

The BMA carried out the snapshot survey of more than 6,000 doctors after receiving mounting anecdotal evidence that supplies of vital drugs and other therapeutics simply aren’t available on the NHS frontline in many cases.

More than 4,000 doctors responded to the questions around supply of drugs with one third (33%) saying they experienced shortages some or most of the time.

The survey shows supply problems across a range of medicines, some of which are vital in the treatment of Covid-19, such as anaesthetics and oxygen.

Dr Rob Harwood, BMA Consultants Committee chair, said: “Doctors and other healthcare workers are going above and beyond to provide the best possible care for a growing number of patients during this national crisis.

“However, these results show that supplies of vital medicines and other essential resources simply aren’t available on the frontline on a regular basis, meaning doctors aren’t able to provide the treatment they would ideally want for their patients.

“In the case of seriously ill patients this could ultimately affect that person’s care and may even impact on their chances of recovery.”

Dr Richard Vautrey, BMA GP Committee chair said: “Drug shortages in the NHS are nothing new, however, as this survey shows, one in three GPs and hospital doctors now say they are commonly experiencing supply issues.

“We cannot allow this situation to get any worse. Patients must be able to receive the highest quality care possible as we work to get through this pandemic.

“The Government must ensure that the system reacts quickly to shortages and ensure distribution networks are in place to quickly move resources around the country so that vital medicines are available to doctors when and where they are needed.”


1. 6,126 members completed the BMA survey between 14 and 16 April 2020.

This article has been republished from the following materials. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.