Pharmacists have one day left to respond to a study by researchers at the University of Reading who are trying to understand the impact of medicines shortages on pharmacies in the UK.
The research is being carried out by PhD student Mohamed Obiedalla, the superintendent pharmacist at New Victoria Hospital who is funding the study under the supervision of professor Parastou Donyai and Dr Nilesh Patel, an associate professor at the university who has researched pharmacy practice and overseen several undergraduate projects.
As part of the study, pharmacists have been invited to complete an online survey that researchers said will help them “explore the experiences of participants of drug shortages on primary pharmacies in the UK".
It seeks to establish whether drug shortages are still a problem for pharmacists, whether they have ever dealt with patients who have been affected by shortages or if they have received drug shortage alerts.
The study also asks respondents if they have a system within their pharmacy or organisation that manages the problem, whether they report shortages and which suppliers they source drugs from, including Alliance Healthcare, Phoenix, AAH, directly from the manufacturer or another supplier.
The researchers said that while there may not be "any direct benefits” to pharmacists who take part in the survey, those who do will help improve their understanding about shortages which could “help develop a better system in managing drug shortages in the future".
Researchers said the results will form part of a PhD thesis and could be published or presented at conferences.
They assured pharmacists who take part that their participation will remain confidential, with only Mr Obiedalla, Dr Patel and professor Donyai having access to that information "which will never be shared or disclosed." The survey closes tomorrow (November 30).