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08 October 2019

Epilepsy Society responds to risks around medication shortages

On 7 October, The Mirror published an article about the risks surrounding medication shortages.

We understand from your comments that there has been much anxiety around the article. We thought it would be helpful to share the full quote which we sent to the Mirror, which we hope will give you more context and the broader picture:

Stephen Canning, Head of External Affairs at Epilepsy Society said: “It is vitally important that people with epilepsy have access to a continuous supply of their medication at the right dose and strength, in order to keep their seizures under control. For most people with epilepsy, their medication regime will have been finely tuned over many  years to maximise their seizure control and minimise side effects.

“A single breakthrough seizure can have a huge impact on a person’s life. One seizure and they suddenly find they are no longer allowed to drive; their job or education may be affected; and it can impact on their personal life. But seizures can be fatal, too. One thousand people in the UK die from epilepsy related causes every year – seizures are not benign events.

“We are already seeing huge anxiety in people with epilepsy who are worrying about whether they will be able to get a continuous supply of their  medication, either for themselves or for their loved ones. And anxiety itself can trigger seizures.

“We have been working closely with the Department of Health and Social Services to  ensure that every measure is in place to safeguard these medications. And we have Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s assurance that they understand just how vital anti-epileptic medications are for those with epilepsy. The National Audit Office report confirms the huge amount of work that is being done by the Government and the measures that have been put in place to safeguard medicines. But  until the HGVs are rolling and  the medication is on our shelves, I don’t think any of us will allow ourselves the luxury of breathing easily.”

You can read the article in the Mirror here.