Chemists say they are struggling to obtain many common medicines including painkillers and anti-depressants.

This is leaving patients complaining of delays in getting hold of drugs.

Several reasons why this has happened include manufacturers not meeting demand and a lack of supply of raw materials.

There is evidence that similar shortages are affecting pharmacies and patients in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Nationally there have been claims that uncertainty over Brexit will only make the situation worse.

However, pharmacists in Watford consider it only part of a wider problem if at all.

Ritesh Shah owner of One Stop Pharmacy on Leavesden Road, Watford, said: “Brexit has nothing to do with the shortages.

“All our raw materials we use for medication comes from china and recently there has been problems with manufacturers there.

“Our shortages are coming from people and companies stockpiling medication or from a lack of raw materials affecting supply.

“If a problem happens in China then it affects us all.”

Kathy Haslam the manager at Bridgewater Pharmacy on Printers Avenue, Watford.

“Shortages have been affecting pharmacy for a long time.

“There have been medicine shortages for quite some time where pharmaceuticals are not meeting demand and chemists have been saying this for ages.

“Brexit is only the most recent case that is affecting the shortages as people are stockpiling medicines.

“A couple of the manufacturers have been having problems and along with meeting demands from developing nations they are not

“I don’t see it as a single reason there are problems with supply on the market place, but Brexit is only the most recent one.”

The current shortage is about prescriptions for generic medicines, rather than specific brand names.

The government has told manufacturers to stockpile six weeks' worth of supplies, so people would still get their medications if we have a no-deal Brexit.

Hospitals, distributors and patients have been told not to stockpile their own supplies.

It seems according to pharmacists that Brexit is not a factor when compared to wider global problems of supply.