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Supply chain commitment to tackling problem of medicine shortages
Monday, 05 March 2018 21:04    PDF Print E-mail


The European associations representing manufacturers of medicinal products, parallel distributors, healthcare distributors and pharmacists welcome pan-European efforts by the Heads of Medicine Agencies1, the European Medicines Agency, the Council2 and the European Commission3 to address medicine shortages. Supply chain stakeholders believe that the long-term resolution of medicines shortages is dependent upon collaborative and unified actions. We therefore call for the inclusion of the supply chain actors in the abovementioned initiatives organized by Governments and the regulatory community. Ahead of the Bulgarian Presidency event ‘Health as the Real Winner: Presidency conference on options to provide better medicines for all’ on 6 March in Sofia, supply chain stakeholders call for their greater involvement in discussions about medicines shortages. Specifically, supply chain stakeholders wish to make the Health Ministers aware of an existing collaboration on this crucial issue, created with the objective of helping to mitigate the impact of shortages. Furthermore, supply chain stakeholders strongly believe that the input, perspectives and experience of the variety of stakeholders affected by the issue of shortages needs to be sought and taken on board to reach best-informed conclusions. The supply chain partners have set up an informal working group in 2015 and published a set of recommendations in early 20174 calling for greater transparency and availability of medicines shortage data, early detection and assessment of potential shortages, consistency of reporting, increased access to the information available across all parts of the supply chain, improved data infrastructure, and collaborative stakeholder governance processes.

The Associations’ statement4 is part of their wider commitment to tackling the increasing problem of shortages across the European Union, having a significant impact on patients, health professionals, healthcare systems and manufacturers and distributors.