German Pharmacists Warn of Shortages in Antibiotics, Other Medicines
TEHRAN (FNA)- German pharmacists sounded the alarm over "dramatic" bottlenecks in the supply of certain medicines and called on the authorities to remedy the problems.
"The situation is catastrophic," Gabriele Regina Overwiening, president of the Federal Union of German Associations of Pharmacists (ABDA), told the German newspaper Bild on Thursday.
She said it was becoming increasingly difficult to care for patients, "in a country that was once the world's pharmacy".
On Wednesday, the German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) issued a press release on the limited availability of antibiotics, admitting that a significant increase in the consumption of antibiotics in recent months has led to supply bottlenecks.
On Tuesday, the BfArM put 12 types of antibiotic drugs on the scarcity list, including antibiotic-containing juices for children.
"Antibiotics are vital medicines, but the supply situation is currently catastrophic," noted Hans-Peter Hubmann, chairman of the German Pharmacists Association (DAV).
Other crucial medicines such as cancer and blood pressure reducing drugs are also facing delivery bottlenecks.
By April 27, the number of medicines in short supply had grown to 477, compared to around 300 in the fall of 2022, according to a list compiled by BfArM, which is based on the reports from the manufacturers and data from the federal medicines database.
But industry insiders fear that the BfArM list reflects only a part of the reality.
"Drugs that 'make' it onto the BfArM list are just the tip of the iceberg, or active ingredients for which pharmacies, despite efforts, cannot offer any alternatives," an insider said.
Hubmann urged the authorities to take swift and resolute action and "avoid additional bureaucracy if one can switch to substitute preparations, like through individual imports from other countries".