Irish pharmacies are running out of medication for serious illnesses like depression, it was warned today.
The Irish Pharmacy Union survey has found that 91% of pharmacists say shortages have worsened in the past 12 months.
The IPU says staff spend eight hours per month specifically dealing with medicine shortages which pose a risk to the public.
"Last year we reported widely the problems of getting Eltroxin, which is a drug used to treat thyroid disease," said IPU president Rory O'Donnell.
"The most recent examples that are members are reporting to us are Cymbalta - which is used for depression".
"Very frequently it's described in a hospital setting by a consultant psychiatrist; and sometimes the only solution to actually refer the patient back to the prescriber and you can imagine how difficult that is."