The DHSC is responsible for the continuity of supply of medicines and manufacturers have a legal requirement to inform DHSC of any supply problems.

DHSC and NHSE/I have now launched an online Medicines Supply Tool, which provides up to date information about medicine supply issues. The contents of this report can now be viewed on the Tool. To access the Tool, you will be required to register with the SPS website. Please be aware that emails from SPS may be diverted to your junk mail folder.

Further information may be issued by a Medicine Supply Notification (MSN) to providers.

We are also aware that prescribers may also be asked for an alternative by pharmacies if there is a local supply issue.  This will need to be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) have also recently been introduced to enable community pharmacies to dispense agreed alternatives without requesting a prescription amendment.

How to access information:

SPS Medicines Supply Tool :  Requires simple free registration process and log in to access –  Medicines Supply Tool – SPS – Specialist Pharmacy Service – The first stop for professional medicines advice

Mims Shortage Tracker : requires registration and is  only available to subscribers – not free Drug shortages – live tracker | MIMS online

PrescQIPP : Out of stock bulletins and intelligence – Requires simple free registration process and log in to access – Out of stock bulletins and intelligence | PrescQIPP C.I.C

Teamnet: This is under development.  A section will be created where all the above documents will be available for reference in one place.

Current SSPs:

Further Comments:

The BSW Formulary Team will support drug shortages by including SPS links under individual drug entries and reviewing them to ensure the formulary does not unnecessarily restrict prescribing alternatives.

OptimiseRx also create messages if there are known supply issues with the prescribed medication at the point of prescribing to alert the prescriber to consider an alternative. If local specialist teams have produced advice regarding specific shortages, we will include information below and within the relevant entry of the BSW formulary.

Contact for support with specific shortages or feedback.