Cardiac medications and hormone replacement therapies are among shortages in prescription medications being reported by Tasmanian pharmacists.
Pharmacy Guild of Tasmania president Helen O'Byrne said pharmacists were being forced to have difficult conversations with patients, in response to supply-chain issues that heightened during the pandemic.
"We've been impacted here [Tasmania], right from the middle of March-April when COVID first hit and continuing through to now," she said.
"There have been some cardiac medications that haven't been available and at the moment it's mainly hormone replacement therapies - oestrogen and patches and also some fairly important medications for thyroid problems.
"It's often just a really difficult conversation that we have to have with the patient, to try and work out a solution."
Ms O'Byrne said supply and demand issues for prescription medications existed before COVID-19, but the pandemic had created a "bottleneck".
"It's made the Therapeutic Goods Administration have a bit of a closer look of the supply chain of those types of medication and try to make sure Australia is well supplied," she said.
A spokesperson for the TGA said the number national medicine shortages did not increase significantly during 2020.
"The average monthly total of new national medicine shortages published on the TGA website during 2020 was largely consistent with the previous year's average, and remains so in 2021.
"Most disruptions to medicine supply during the pandemic were confined to local out-of-stocks driven by increased demand at community pharmacies and hospitals."
Ms O'Byrne, who is based in Launceston and was elected as the Guild's new state president this month, said anyone with concerns should speak to their pharmacist or a GP.
"The TGA and the government agencies do their best at getting the supply, but if the supply isn't available, there is usually an alternative that can be worked out."
The TGA said it's continuing to closely monitor the potential effects of the pandemic on medicine supply chains in Australia.
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