The problem of medicine shortages in the UK community pharmacy is well known. It is extremely time-consuming for pharmacy teams and often leads to delays in supply or the requirement for the patient to receive an alternative medicine as a substitute.
One of the really handy things about being a prescriber is the fact that our pharmacist can now write prescriptions for medicines that are not in stock. On this occasion, she receives a prescription for Gentisone HC which has been out of stock at the manufacturer for some time. She quickly realises it is not in stock and glances at the shelf to see that there is a bottle of Sofradex on the shelf, a not too distant equivalent and also indicated for otitis externa.
She quickly assesses her own competence to prescribe this item and decides it is safe to do so. Because this is a simple swap she doesn’t feel there is a need to look in the ear. She prescribes Sofradex and the patient is delighted at the level of convenience.
The patient goes straight home and gives the pharmacy and the pharmacist a very positive review on Facebook.