Anticancer drugs, antibiotics, vaccines: the French suffer from a serious shortage of medicines

530 drug stock-outs were reported in France in 2017, an increase of 30% compared to 2016. For anti-cancer drugs, this is for example the case of 5FU or vincristine. For antibiotics, it is, among other things, amoxicillin.

In a new report, the National Academy of Pharmacy notes and deplores a deterioration in the availability of drugs, including anti-cancer drugs, antibiotics and vaccines, covering essential therapeutic areas. 530 drug stock-outs were reported in France in 2017, an increase of 30% compared to 2016.
More seriously, these are not new products whose unavailability is most often associated with economic problems of access to the market during the first years of their marketing, but of old products whose therapeutic use is well established and considered to have a major contribution.

For anticancer drugs, this is for example the case of 5FU or vincristine. For antibiotics, it is, among other things, amoxicillin. "Among the anti-infectives, the particular class of vaccines has also been subject to stock-outs and / or supply tensions since 2015," adds the ANSM.

"The causes of these supply disruptions are multiple"

"The causes of these supply disruptions are multiple and this requires that many players coordinate to resolve this situation, at risk, if nothing is done voluntarily, to see deteriorate further this situation in the coming years The United States, confronted with the same problem, have already reacted and put in place solutions that seem to be bearing fruit.It is urgent that France, and more broadly the European Union, take the necessary measures for the many patients who live with difficulty these situations, "says the National Academy of Pharmacy.

To deal with the situation, the Senate has just created an information mission. Its purpose: to establish an inventory of stock-outs and risks of stock-outs for medicines and vaccines. Elected representatives will also have to propose measures to remedy this situation, which they consider unacceptable. The first hearings took place on July 5th and 6th.

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