The federal states are now taking emergency measures against the shortage of medicines for children. A law should solve the problem in the longer term. But there are doubts about that.
More and more federal states are taking emergency measures against the shortage of antibiotic juices for children. After Bremen, Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia, Baden-Württemberg also announced that it had issued corresponding temporary rules for deviations from the Medicines Act.
Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) expressed the hope that the law he had introduced to eliminate drug shortages would now quickly pass through the Bundestag and Bundesrat. The pharmaceutical industry was skeptical that it would really solve the problems.
“I have to point out that these problems have been known for ten years, and nothing much has ever been done. Now we got a law through the cabinet very quickly, and I’m quite sure that our colleagues in Parliament will also pass this law quickly “Said Lauterbach of the German Press Agency in Berlin. That has to be quick now.
Fire letter to politics
Pediatricians in several European countries had appealed to politicians in a fire letter to do something about the poor supply situation. Recently, not only fever juices were scarce, but also antibiotics. According to the German Foundation for Patient Protection, there are problems not only with pediatric medicines, but also generally with blood lipid lowering drugs, blood pressure medicines and even cancer drugs.
Several federal states are now relaxing the import rules for antibiotic juices for children. This is possible because the Ministry of Health officially identified a shortage of these preparations last week. The easing concerns, for example, the import of products that are not approved or registered in Germany. Lauterbach spoke of “emergency measures” on Monday. “The process shows, however, that the law does not come too early.”
Demand for inflation compensation in the pharmaceuticals sector
However, the Federal Association of Drug Manufacturers only considers it helpful in some areas. “This could solve the problem of the availability of children’s medicines. In general, however, the law “will not help to improve the situation in Germany,” said managing director Hubertus Cranz of the ZDF “Morgenmagazin”. It is also a structural problem: a market that has been shattered over the years, which has depressed the price level for off-patent medicines to such an extent that a number of manufacturers have left the market.
On the other hand, the health insurance companies said that the direction of the new drug law was correct. The Central Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds (GKV) rejected the criticism of the pharmaceutical industry. “First relocate production abroad, then earn a lot of money and now that the problems of these corporate decisions are showing up, the state is being called on,” said GKV central association spokesman Florian Lanz on Monday of the dpa.
I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.