European countries face continued medicine shortages: Survey


European countries are still experiencing high incidence of medicine shortages, with deteriorating burdensome impact on patients, according to a recent survey.

The Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union (PGEU) conducted a survey with pharmacies in 29 countries, including EU members, Türkiye, Norway, and North Macedonia.

The survey results showed that the medicine shortages in most European countries worsened substantially compared to last year. More than 600 drugs are scarce in a quarter of these countries, while 20% reported 200-300 drug shortages, it said.

Three-quarters of the countries reported that shortages were worse this winter compared to a year ago.

The survey also showed that the most difficult drugs to be obtained in pharmacies across Europe are especially amoxicillin group antibiotics used in the treatment of respiratory tract infections, cough syrups used in the treatment of pediatric diseases, paracetamol in syrup form, and some blood pressure drugs.

The reason for the drug problem is a decline in supply despite a surging demand. Seasonal infections, especially influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), started early and progressed stronger than normal in European countries this year.

Experts say weaker immune systems are related to COVID-19 lockdowns as people were not exposed to some viruses during this period.

Pharmaceutical manufacturers are also unprepared for the high demand in the face of increasing infections, with the energy crisis in Europe and the rising raw material prices affecting production.__Daily Times