The German health minister has announced new measures to reduce drug shortages and increase supply. However, health groups believe that the situation is unlikely to improve soon.
Health and medical associations in Germany warned on Wednesday (21 December) that despite the government’s announcement of new measures to supply medicines, ongoing drug shortages in the country are likely to persist for months.
Ibuprofen and paracetamol syrup for children are also among the medicines, which are currently facing a lot of problems in supply. The German health care system has been overburdened by an increase in Covid-19, influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and other diseases during the winter. Children are the most affected by this situation.
DW correspondent Julia Sodelli says that many doctors and other medical staff at Berlin’s Charity Hospital have been moved to children’s wards to deal with the growing number of infections. Addressing drug supply shortages has become an urgent issue due to the severity of the health crisis, but medical experts fear that these problems and bottlenecks are not going away anytime soon.
Family medical practice is expected to be the most affected
Thomas Press of the North Rhine Pharmacists Association in Düsseldorf told the German newspaper Rheinische Post on Wednesday: “It will take several months for the supply situation to improve.” Also speaking to the same newspaper said that supply issues will continue and will have a significant impact on family medical practice.
He said that because of the shortage of medicines, the practice of medicines at the family level, they will have to spend a lot of time in searching for alternative medicines to replace the medicines that are in short supply. can go. However, he said that in some cases, “no alternative is available” for sick patients.
The reaction of the German government
German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach announced a number of measures to ease supply disruptions earlier this week. This includes eliminating drug price caps and allowing health insurance firms to charge more for drugs.
The government’s policies are seen as an attempt to make Germany more attractive to pharmaceutical companies. However, these actions of the health minister are also being criticized by saying that he has provided a gift to the pharmaceutical industry on the occasion of Christmas.
The health minister responded by saying: “I think this is the first and most important gift for children.” “