It front of concerns about shortages of certain drugs, the Minister of Health will bring together “all the players in the pharmaceutical sector” next week. With them, Aurélien Rousseau wants to understand the gap “between global figures, where we have the doses, and what our fellow citizens are experiencing, who cannot find certain medications”. “Where is the problem, that’s what we need to understand,” he said this Tuesday morning on RTL.
The minister nevertheless recalls that 450 drugs were placed under surveillance by the ANSM (National Medicines Safety Agency). Questioned on Friday by AFP, the agency reported at the end of August “a little less than 3,500 declarations of ruptures or risks of ruptures”. At the end of September, “40% of these declarations” had “required management measures”. It is “a situation similar to 2022”, the same source added.
To explain the shortages in certain places, on medicines in stock in France, Aurélien Rousseau puts forward several points: “There are certain very large pharmacies which order directly from manufacturers, have overstock, and therefore small pharmacies do not arrive” to obtain certain medications, he says.
But he also points out the overstocking of patients. “We all still have a few boxes of medicine at home, without feeling like we are stocking up. We’re all a bit of a pharmacist,” he says. And “when we are afraid that there will be a shortage of medicine, we buy medicines a little in advance”, which can contribute to the shortage, according to him.
“The more we are protected from epidemics, the less we will need medicines”
The Minister of Health recalls in passing that “all over Europe we have these shortage situations”. But also that “the more we are protected from epidemics, the less we will need medicines. Last year we had a major shortage because we had three epidemics at the same time “, he noted.
Unlike last year, this month of October there was “a replenishment of stocks at the pharmacy level and a replenishment of stocks at the industrial level and the deployment of a reinforced winter plan”, again declared the ANSM, pointing to stocks “available on the national territory, but still with this difficulty in ensuring that there is a distribution over the territory which is completely homogeneous”.
Aurélien Rousseau pointed out in passing that the flu vaccination campaign “is off to a good start, we are going faster than last year”, with currently 1.6 million vaccinated. Concerning Covid, vaccination has “crossed 2 million vaccinated, that is to say almost a million more than last year on the same date, even though we are talking less about Covid”, rejoices -he. Aurélien Rousseau recalls that the two vaccines can be given at the same time and that they are safe.
The minister was, in passing, questioned about the death of a schoolboy in Loire-Atlantique, who felt unwell a few minutes after being vaccinated against the papillomavirus. During the illness, he “had a heavy fall on his head”, which resulted in head trauma, causing his death, according to the Pays de la Loire Regional Health Agency (ARS).
“Vagal discomfort is the first risk in any vaccination,” assures the minister. “It’s the needle, the fear of the needle” and that “has no link with the injected product, we know that”. While he assures that an investigation is underway, he recalls that it is “undoubtedly one of the safest vaccines in the world. » Of the 20,000 other doses injected in France, “we have had no event of this nature” he assures.