For information on managing medicine shortages, see: Medicines Shortages (NHS Highland intranet access required). 


Other information on shortages is available from:

  • Medicines Supply Tool from SPS (Specialist Pharmacy Service) (log in details required - see further info below). Suitable for Primary and Secondary Care.
  • SSPs (Serious Shortage Protocols). 
  • Medicines Shortages Guidance from Community Pharmacy Services Scotland.
  • MSN (Medicine Supply Notification) from Community Pharmacy England. Suitable for Primary Care. 
  • MSAN (Medicines Supply Alert Notice) from the SHOW website (Scotland's Health on the Web). Where there is a specific Scottish context for an MSN.

Remember, if the medication is not available, alternative medications to consider are listed in the Highland Formulary.

Medicines Supply tool (SPS)

Prescribers, pharmacy professionals, and pharmacy procurement leads in Scotland are encouraged to register with the SPS website and use its Medicine Supply Tool in order to stay up to date concerning medicines supply disruptions. Please be aware that, while medicines supply issues will appear on the SPS website, some of the recommended actions may not always be appropriate / relevant within the Scottish context.

This tool, which provides up to date information about medicine supply issues, has been launched by the UK Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) in conjunction with SPS. To access, you need to register with the SPS website. Registration is available to UK healthcare professionals and organisations providing NHS healthcare. The tool is located under the Tools tab and then click on the Medicines Supply option.

Editorial Information

Last reviewed: 13/05/2022

Next review date: 31/05/2025

Author(s): Formulary Pharmacist.

Version: 2

Approved By: Medicines Management and Information

Reviewer name(s): Patricia Hannam.

Document Id: FCR106