As many as 1.5 million people in Germany have been affected by acute supply bottlenecks for certain medicines, the North Rhine Chamber of Pharmacists said on Thursday.
“Sometimes the supply is really on the brink because antibiotics are very scarce and … have to be supplied very quickly,” the association’s chair Thomas Preis told public broadcaster ARD.
In Germany, 80 percent of drugs prescribed are comparatively cheap generics, drugs for which patents have expired. “These are becoming increasingly scarce,” Preis underlined.
Last year, there was a severe shortage of antibiotics and some medicines for children, after a wave of infections. Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach plans to discuss the difficult supply situation with physicians, pharmacists, and the pharmaceutical industry.
Meanwhile, Preis said: “Economic efficiency must now take a back seat. The focus must be on patient care.”
He emphasized the importance of a reliable supply of medicines, particularly for children.
According to the latest report from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases, acute respiratory diseases in the German population have continued to increase. The number of COVID-19 cases, starting from a low level in the summer, has also continued to rise since the beginning of July. ■