Several Lancashire Imaan pharmacies are experiencing medication shortages with no sign of when stock levels will return to normal.

Brunshaw Pharmacy in Burnley, Peel Street Pharmacy in Accrington, Miller Road Pharmacy in Preston, Slyne Pharmacy in Lancaster, and Wesham Pharmacy near Kirkham, all part of the Imaan group, are among those affected.

Pharmacists have been struggling to obtain stock for various medications across a range of health areas, including HRT, epilepsy, acne, contraception, and many others.

Popular brands like Beechams, Calpol, and Gaviscon, as well as more generic offerings such as paracetamol, have also been affected by supply issues.

These shortages are nationwide, and are affecting all pharmacies throughout the UK.

Pharmacists are now spending more time trying to source medication from wholesalers or other pharmacies, and ultimately can’t get hold of them.

Wholesalers frequently do not have enough staff in warehouses and depots to pick the meds, nor enough drivers to deliver them.

A spokesperson for Imaan Healthcare said: “Supply of most products across all industries have been affected by rising costs of raw materials, staff resources, fuel and energy.

"The pharmaceutical sector is just one of many affected by these issues.

"Furthermore, we must take into account the impact of Brexit which contributes to these rising costs.”

A pharmacy would typically place an order expecting to receive them on the next run, but they have recently experienced missing and incorrect tote boxes, the supply of incorrect medication, and the supply of too little and too much medication.

This creates extra work and stress for the pharmacy team, who must spend additional time creating credit notes, but it is ultimately the patient who suffers in the end.

Unable to receive the medication they need, many patients become angry and direct abuse at pharmacy staff.

Though still a sensitive subject, Brexit has exacerbated the situation.

With workers returning to their countries of origin, there are no longer enough people available to work these difficult jobs at wholesaler depots and distribution centres.