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Medicine supplier Pharmacy Plus goes into liquidation

Pharmacy Plus website

Pharmacy Plus announced on its website that the company was in the hands of administrators

Pharmacy Plus, which supplies medicines to hundreds of care homes in England, Scotland and Wales, has gone into liquidation. Bristol-based Pharmacy Plus posted a message on its website on Tuesday afternoon saying that the business was now in the hands of administrators.

The announcement comes days after the company unexpectedly terminated its contract with the NHS owing to “supply issues”.   
 
Pharmacy Plus wrote to customers urging them “as a matter of extreme urgency” to find an alternative supplier.

“It’s going to be a real problem if you consider that most residents are on an average of 10 different medicines,” says Nadra Ahmed, chairperson of The National Care Association, which represents more than 2,000 independent care home providers.

“It’s going to be quite a nightmare, especially if a provider runs four or five homes.”

Ahmed says whoever takes over a care home’s medicines supply service will have to carry out a drugs audit.

“I don’t even know if a local pharmacy would have that amount of drugs in the building, especially the more specialist drugs, and whether or not they would have access to the Pharmacy Plus paper work.”  

At least one care home has experienced difficulties with specific drug supplies from Pharmacy Plus, according to Ahmed. “They didn’t think anything of it at the time but now realise there must have been a problem.” 

In a statement issued on Tuesday, NHS England said that its clinical commissioning groups and NHS England area teams where care homes were affected “were aware of the situation and are ensuring that alternatives are put in place”.

NHS England said that it had received assurances from Pharmacy Plus that the company had supplied medicines up to 26 May 2014. All prescriptions for medicines that were to be dispensed after 26 May have been returned to the care homes, it said.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2014.11138526

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