Pharmacies around the city say political uncertainty is the cause of supply shortages, but experts have cited other factors.

While these shortages have been an issue for some time thanks to growing demand, many pharmacists in the area have confirmed that the Brexit situation has exacerbated the problem.

This reflects a BBC study released earlier today, which found that 80 medicines were now on the ‘shortage of supply’ list in England, meaning that the Department of Health has agreed to pay a premium for them.

Yusuf Sohawon, from Globe Pharmacy in St Albans, said: "There has been a spike in supply shortages because of political uncertainty.

“A lot of medicine comes from parallel imports from Europe, and the current situation may mean the shortage gets worse.

"A lot of common items are out of stock. We have noticed this across the board in the last six months.”

Mr Sowahon added that the pharmacy has had supply problems with Naproxen, Amoxicillin, Epilim Chrono, which treats epilepsy and Sevelamer Carbonate, which deals with kidney dialysis.

Mr Sohawon added: “This is also down to slow resupply of medicines - there's a big gap between when we're out of stock and when we get fresh supplies."

Apprehension has risen across the health service, with the NHS stockpiling drugs in case of a no-deal Brexit.

However, the causes of the supply shortages have been disputed, with Brexit cited as one of many reasons.

A spokesperson from the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) said: “There are always some medicines in short supply, so Brexit is not the root cause of the current problems.

“Changes in global demand, fluctuations in prices and exchange rates and the structure of the supply chain here in the UK are all factors that combine to impact on the availability of supplies.

“However, we need certainty as soon as possible on the Brexit position, to allow everyone in the medicines supply chain to plan ahead and to give patients the confidence that their medicines will be available without delays.”

A pharmacist from a different St Albans practice, who chose not to go on record, said: “We’ve had to minimise the dose given - we often now only dispense one month at a time. These include common medicines.”

On the local situation, the NPA added: “Pharmacists in St Albans and around the country are spending more and more time sourcing medicines and also paying inflated prices to wholesalers to obtain stock promptly. By putting the needs of patients first, they are often dispensing medicines at a financial loss.”

While most pharmacies told the Review they were having sudden supply issues, others revealed these shortages were nothing out of the ordinary.

Kinjal Patel, at Jade Pharmacy, said: “We have had more of a shortage now than before, but it’s not abnormal.”