For weeks there has been talk of individual bottlenecks in medicines, but now, according to pharmacists and doctors, the situation is getting dangerous – they warn of supply bottlenecks. It is often necessary to resort to alternative medicines nationwide.
By Madeline Jaeger
This article first appeared on RTL.de
According to the North Rhine Association of General Practitioners, “more than 1,000 medicines are currently not available or in some cases cannot be obtained at all”. In the meantime, even acutely necessary medicines such as antibiotics and antipyretics are affected and are not available from more and more manufacturers.
“Politicians must finally improve the security of supply for the population with medicines. If countermeasures are not taken, the shortage of medicines will worsen this winter,” warn Thomas Preis, Chairman of the North Rhine-Westphalia Association of Pharmacists, and Dr. Oliver Funken, Chairman of the North Rhine Association of General Practitioners, in a recent statement. The German Association of General Practitioners also agrees with this demand, the situation has deteriorated in recent years and especially in recent months, explains press spokesman Vincent Jörres.
“Fighting all over Germany”: bottlenecks in fever juices and ibuprofen
The President of the Federal Chamber of Pharmacists also agrees with this assessment and classifies the extent of the nationwide bottlenecks when asked by RTL.
“Pharmacies throughout Germany are currently fighting against numerous delivery bottlenecks of medicines – from gastric acid blockers with pantoprazole to fever juices with ibuprofen. However, the daily challenge for pharmacies is to supply their patients with the right medicines, so that’s over Supply bottlenecks for individual drugs will not become supply bottlenecks for entire patient groups,” says Thomas Benkert (BAK).
Drug supply bottlenecks: Patients have to make do with substitute drugs
It takes a lot of time and manpower to inquire with several wholesalers, to consult with doctors or to prepare individual drug formulations. In order to be able to continue to guarantee the therapy and treatment of insecure patients, trust in the selected substitute drug must be encouraged in many discussions.
“Since delivery bottlenecks have unfortunately been part of everyday life in pharmacies for years, something fundamentally needs to change here. Security of supply in the health care system simply cannot be obtained at the cheapest prices! In the short term, politicians must increase the pharmaceutical decision-making scope in pharmacies in order to exchange those that are not available against available medicines. In the medium and long term, we need strong production again for antibiotics and other important active ingredients in Europe, the production and delivery of which is unfortunately currently exposed to the risks of globalization,” continues Thomas Benkert (BAK).
“Germany used to be the pharmacy of the world, today it’s India and China”
This is also the opinion of Thomas Preis, chairman of the North Rhine Association of Pharmacists, who explains in the current report from the North Rhine Association of General Practitioners:
“Germany used to be the pharmacy of the world, today it’s India and China. And that leads to many delivery problems. Drug production has to be relocated back to Europe,” he demands. The range of offers is constantly being reduced and the supply is increasingly on shaky ground. The sufferers are the patients, who can no longer receive the optimal drug therapy in every case.
How is a drug actually developed?
And that in times when Corona, flu and staff shortages are already causing a lot of stress in pharmacies and medical practices. Pharmacies and medical practices have been working with their teams at the upper limit since the corona pandemic. Both professional groups finally demand that the already acute situation with the supply bottlenecks of medicines should no longer take place at the expense of the enormous additional effort for pharmacies and general practitioners’ practices.