Several times each week pharmacist Kate Gray is forced to explain to a customer the medication they have come in for is not available.
Over the last two years chemists across the country have increasingly faced similar problems, with wholesalers unable to meet their requirements.
"The problem is that Australia is 2 per cent of the global market and 90 per cent of our drugs are imported," she said.
It causes an element of confusion over dosages which could potentially lead to hospitalisation with a medical incident.Kate Gray
Mrs Gray said because manufacturing is done overseas it's not in the interest of distributor's bottom line to ship all the way to our shores.
"It's not that cost effective to send drugs all the way to Australia and often that means other markets get prioritised first," she said.
Chemmart have had difficulty filling prescriptions for a range of drugs including certain antibiotics and different blood-pressure medications.
Customers rarely go home empty handed, but they may be forced to settle for an unfamiliar brand with a different dosage of medication.
Mrs Gray said it's a tricky thing to explain to an elderly customer and it could be potentially dangerous.
"They're frustrated and they're also often confused. Especially if you're chopping and changing brands all the time," she said.
"It causes an element of confusion over dosages which could potentially lead to hospitalisation with a medical incident."
Mrs Gray said Brexit has compounded the issue with Britain stockpiling medications ahead of a potential departure from the European Union.
"No deal would mean the supply chain would be very small and things would take a long time to pass through customs at Dover," she said.
A spokesperson for the Therapeutic Goods Administration said while they weren't aware of current medicine shortages in Australia relating to Brexit, shortages weren't unique to Australia.
"Disruptions may occur for a number of reasons, such as the moving or closing of manufacturing plants, raw material shortages, natural disasters, logistical difficulties, batches of the medicine not meeting applicable specifications, and increased demand," the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said the government introduced an initiative on January 1 to make it mandatory for pharmaceutical companies to report anticipated shortages but was powerless to obligate distributors to avoid shortfalls in availability.
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