Weak pound drives exports, UK drug shortages

Rogue pharmacists and sketchy wholesalers are behind the U.K. shortage of more than 50 drugs, with cancer treatments especially hard hit. The wholesalers sell drugs intended for the UK's National Health Service to traders who sell them in Europe where the drugs are more expensive, charges The Telegraph.

Following the money leads to another culprit: the weak pound, which is driving the drug exports. Trade agreements permit the exports between countries in Europe. The UK itself has capitalized on currency fluctuations, importing drugs from Spain and Greece when financially advantageous.

In response, manufacturers are using quota schemes. The result has been drugs absent where needed but available elsewhere.

The U.K. government last week reminded drugmakers of their obligation to meet the needs of patients and of the target to deliver drugs within 24 hours from order.

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