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Government must step in to protect NI pharmacies and patients

Lord Rogan has tabled a Written Parliamentary Question asking the UK Government what discussions Ministers are having with the Northern Ireland pharmacy sector to tackle the deepening funding crisis.

Last week, Community Pharmacy NI (CPNI) – which represents hundreds of local pharmacies – warned that drugs used to treat numerous health conditions including osteoporosis, high blood pressure, insomnia, mental health and coronary conditions may soon be unavailable to Northern Ireland patients after a major spike in costs.

A Department of Health offer of £5.3 million to address the situation is far short of the £20–30 million which CPNI says is required.

Lord Rogan said: “I am gravely concerned about this developing crisis and the lack of urgency which UK Government Ministers seem to be showing towards it.

“I am especially worried about the fate of smaller pharmacies in rural parts of Northern Ireland which local people depend upon so much.

“In the absence of an Executive at Stormont, it is for Northern Ireland Office Ministers to step forward and take responsibility for the health and wellbeing of people living in the Province.

“I have tabled a Written Parliamentary Question to try to prompt some proactive engagement between UK Ministers and CPNI, because the consequences of not finding a swift resolution to this issue are potentially devastating.

“Lives are undoubtedly at risk.”

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