Coping with the supply-chain mayhem

After visiting 10 pharmacies in search of Stelazine, the patient was getting desperate.

Melbourne pharmacist Elysia Chow did her best to help her. But the drug is out of stock until December at best. And the patient would not accept an alternative.

Ms Chow phoned the manufacturer, hoping to access an emergency supply. But manufacturers no longer keep emergency stock.

The patient eventually found a pharmacist able to help — 30km away.

“She got the last box,” says Ms Chow.

This scenario is becoming common for Australian pharmacists, who are using up valuable time trying to track down medications in short supply.

Often they have to call the doctor to discuss medication alternatives.

To make matters worse, the alerts system is unreliable.

 “It’s just a pain,” Ms Chow says.

“You contact doctors to let them know