The Minister of Health Aurélien Rousseau asked on Friday those involved in the pharmaceutical industry to establish “within ten days” a charter of good practice to put an end to blockages in the distribution of antibioticsaccording to a source close to the minister.
“With regard to medicines, in particular antibiotics, for which the country needs to be reassured for the classic winter epidemic situations that it will go through, the minister hopes that within ten days, the actors of the entire chain can agree on a charter of good practice which is based on a logic of transparency,” indicated this source.
This charter “under the aegis of the president of the National Council of the Order of Pharmacists and the general director of the National Security Agency” must be submitted no later than November 21. All links in the sector must agree “on good practices, the information tools that they share to prevent shortages” and “so that there is no uncontrolled build-up of precautionary stocks”. which disrupts the supply chain, the same source added.
A heterogeneous distribution of drugs
Antibiotics such as amoxicillin, the most prescribed in the country mainly to treat ear infections and tonsillitis of bacterial origin, are experiencing difficulties in distribution to patients while stocks are apparently sufficient.
The minister, who brought together for two hours all the players in the sector – production laboratories, wholesalers-distributors, pharmacists’ unions – “does not want patients to be the variables for adjusting supply difficulties”.
The cause of these drug shortages would not be a production problem, but a heterogeneous distribution of the quantities manufactured. At the end of October, the National Medicines Safety Agency (ANSM) noted “stocks which were available on the national territory” but also a “difficulty in ensuring that there is a distribution on the territory which is completely homogeneous”.
The Ministers of Health and Industry will present “at the beginning of December” a roadmap to combat drug shortages which will deal with the drug production crisis that European countries are going through and the tools provided for in the draft budget of Social Security to prevent and respond to shortages.