Keith Vaz, an Indian-origin MP has warned that British hospitals are running out of vital drugs used to treat high blood pressure, asthma and Parkinson's disease putting patients health at risk.
The Daily Mail said there were concerns that drugs manufactured in Britain, meant for local patients, were being sold to European countries by wholesalers and pharmacists.
AdvertisementFluctuations in exchange rates meant manufacturers can make more profit selling the drugs overseas, the daily said.
Although the practice is not illegal, the government has condemned it as unethical.
"The government must not wait until a patient loses their life due to the shortages to take action. I am worried that we are manufacturing medicines for this country and they are being sold abroad. It's shameful," Labor MP Vaz said.
Vaz said eight pharmacies in his constituency had contacted him about the problem during a single week.
The drugs currently in short supply include those to treat high blood pressure, cholesterol, asthma, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, osteoporosis, diabetes and depression.
The department of health said it was working with the medicine industry and wholesalers to minimize the impact of shortage.