In many European countries there is a notable lack of medicines. We mainly talk about antibiotics And cardiovascular and respiratory medicines. Deficiencies are also recorded, however, on the data front medicines for diabetes and those anticancer (someone).
The alarm comes from Pgeu, or from the pharmacists of Europe group. Looking to 2023, we describe a situation that has worsened compared to the recent past. Serious problems are reported in 15% of EU countries, with 500-600 medicines missing. In 27% of cases, however, the share exceeds 600 products. A problem that is not talked about. There is no ongoing debate on this matter, despite the fact that it is a very burdensome issue for millions of citizens. Italy is no exception in this list. There are around 300 drugs present but in reduced stocks. Deficiencies that have a clear impact on those at risk.
Because there is a lack of drugs
The PGEU, or the European pharmacists group, has produced a complete report on the pharmaceutical supply situation in the old continent. A situation that has worsened compared to the past in 65% of countries. A condition that undermines the entire system and casts shadows on the trust that the public has in their pharmacists.
L’Aifa offers a list updated weekly. This highlights the lack of therapies. A situation now regularized and no longer directly dependent on the Covid-19 pandemic.
One wonders how all this is possible, in the face of convincing numbers regarding the pharmaceutical market. The latter has in fact grown by around a third in the last 10 years. At the same time, however, the refueling mechanism jammed in several places.
L’WHO highlights how since September 2021 “the number of molecules reported in shortage in two or more countries is increased by 101%. This is a driving force for counterfeit or substandard quality drugs. There is a risk that many people will try to obtain drugs through unofficial means such as the internet.”
Covid continues to be a cause, although no longer crucial. The boom in requests has in fact had a clear impact on the industry. At the same time, it is difficult to find raw materials arriving from China and India. Added to this, however, is a despicable and totally corporate motivation: i prices of some drugsespecially antibiotics, is far too low and is not attractive for companies.
What is the situation in Italy
As mentioned, Italy is not exempt from this situation. Are approximately 300 drug shortages real in our country. Of these, 30 are those whose lack represents one serious critical issues. For example, attention is paid to antibiotics, some anti-tumor drugs, anti-diabetics and drugs that act on the central nervous system.
Light was also thrown on the delicate topic by Fedez, whose complaint concerned the pancreatic enzymes. Tones muffled by Marcello Cattani, president of Farmaindustria, which is the association of pharmaceutical companies.
“We are not in an alarm situation. There are specific situations that may concern individual products but there is no problem of drug shortages in Italy. Basically it seems to be a purely economic problem. Our country would be more exposed because drug prices are among the lowest in Europe.
“There is the possibility that the drugs go to countries that pay more, or that someone comes to buy drugs in Italy because they cost less”. As if that wasn’t enough, it is not possible to adequately exploit the production of active ingredients. Italy is the leading producer in Europe in this sense, but 97% is destined for export. Absurdly, therefore, our factories depend on what comes from other countries.