National Medicines Agency’s plan to prevent shortages this winter

National Medicines Agency’s plan to prevent shortages this winter

The plan, launched on Tuesday 3 October, targets four types of medicines considered most important: antibiotics, paracetamol, asthma drugs and some corticosteroids.


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Pharmacy in Pau (Pyrénées-Atlantiques) March 23, 2022.  Illustrative photo (FLORENT VAUTIER / FRANCE BLEU BEARN / RADIOFRANCE)

This is done in order not to repeat the situation of last winter. With France facing a triple epidemic of Covid, bronchiolitis and influenza, finding amoxicillin or doliprane has been difficult. So this year the National Medicines Agency took the lead and on Tuesday, October 3, launched its plan to combat shortages, which sometimes involves drastic measures.

>> Understanding drug shortages in France

Health Minister Aurélien Rousseau promised this on Tuesday on France Inter: We have supplies of amoxicillin for the winter.”. The Medicines Agency will do everything to ensure this by monitoring the dynamics of stocks in pharmacies on a daily basis. She plans to track four types of medications: antibiotics such as amoxicillin, paracetamol, asthma medications and corticosteroids taken by mouth.

Three indicators to pay attention to

The plan will be based on three types of indicators that should allow all aspects of the situation to be assessed: epidemiological data from French Public Health, ANSM supply data and field data (via health professionals and patients).

If the agency finds a risk of shortage of one of the products, it can ban exports, but also cut doses supplied to pharmacies and force labs to go through wholesalers, in other words, bar them from selling directly or still making the blood pressure drugs. in community pharmacies that can do this, or in hospital pharmacies.

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