If I may respond, that group, the working party that sent the letter....
You're right. Events have overtaken us. The bottom line with that group is quite simply that we were there to provide the health care provider and the patient's perspective to a group that did not have that mix, quite frankly.
We're agnostic on the subject of whether you want to legislate a fix to this, or have a voluntary mechanism, or you want to use economic levers. I really don't mind. One could almost say I really don't care, as long as the end result is security of drug supply.
In terms of what I know about the issues of drug shortages, quite frankly, we rely on the drug companies to tell us. That system, to call on my teenage daughter's phrase, sucks. It really does not work. The lists of supply are incomplete, there are gaps there in drugs that I know have been in short supply for two or three years, and they're still not there on what is allegedly up to date.
They are a poll system, which means in my terminology you actually have to go there every day and spend time going through this shopping list of medications. There are often no alternatives listed. It's simply a rudimentary system, and quite frankly, we cannot find out from the manufacturers, be they generic or branded, what these shortages are and how long they're going to last with any accuracy.
We are in the position the patients are in, one of complete ignorance.
Yes, we have to try to explain it to our patients, but we're the middleman. We're stuck in the middle. I would suggest that as an answer to your question.