Around 300 medicines are on the list that is affected by supply bottlenecks. However, this is “only the tip of the iceberg”, as one pharmacist complains. It affects many common medications. What to do if you’re worried about your pills.

Anyone who is dependent on essential medicines may have concerns – in view of the reports about current supply bottlenecks. Again and again it is said in the pharmacy: “This is currently not available.”

Below are currently

When drugs are scarce, they are on the list of the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) in Germany. However, this is by no means complete. In addition, only prescription drugs that are considered particularly relevant to care are listed.

When asked by FOCUS online, Daniela Hänel, pharmacist and chairwoman of the independent pharmacist association, confirmed: “Medicines that ‘make it’ on the BfArM list, i.e. that are not available, are just the tip of the iceberg, or active ingredients for which the pharmacy , despite efforts, cannot offer any goods or alternatives.”

In many cases, it is annoying for those affected and often involves additional work for the pharmacies. But for now there is no reason to panic. Important to know: At the moment there are no supply bottlenecks for the heart medications most commonly prescribed in Germany (ACE inhibitors, antihypertensives, beta blockers), thyroid preparations and diabetes medications. This is fundamentally to be distinguished from delivery bottlenecks. Because in many cases drugs can be replaced by others with the same active ingredient.

A spokeswoman for Techniker Krankenkasse confirms that there is currently “a real shortage in the market” for none of the active ingredients in the top 10 drugs. “That means: For all medicines there are other products that are used as alternatives with the same active ingredient.” In general, she points out that stocking up on medicines also causes difficulties in supply.

This is also emphasized by Martin Scherer, Director of the Institute and Polyclinic for General Medicine at the University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf and President of the German Society for General Medicine and Family Medicine (DEGAM) in an interview with FOCUS online. “We don’t currently see any problems with the vital medicines,” says Scherer. “Patients are not undersupplied.” Hamsters, on the other hand, would be against any principle of solidarity.

FOCUS online answers the most important questions:

You reimburse what the doctor issues on the health insurance prescription, the so-called pink prescription, or by electronic prescription. They have the power of therapy. This means that the treating person decides what is medically necessary and needs-based. A spokeswoman for Barmer adds: “There is no time dependency on the beginning of the quarter.”

“As a doctor, I would not prescribe larger amounts,” explains Scherer. Usually, physicians did not simply issue a repeat prescription. It could even be dangerous. Because sensitive values ​​such as blood pressure, blood thinning or thyroid values ​​have to be checked regularly – and the dosage of the medication adjusted if necessary.

A spokeswoman for Barmer adds: As far as possible stockpiling of medicines is concerned, doctors will take into account the measures and recommendations of the BfArM and its advisory board on delivery and supply bottlenecks in their prescriptions.

“The regulations on the prescription are based on purely medical criteria,” the general practitioner continues. Perceived delivery bottlenecks are no reason to prescribe larger packages. Even if someone is very worried, it makes sense to talk to the doctor first to clarify whether these worries are really justified and what options for action exist in individual cases.

Theoretically yes. However, it is questionable whether this will then be taken over by the statutory health insurance – for example, if a new cycle begins and the drug would be “due” again on a prescription from the health insurance company. “If private prescriptions are presented in individual cases, these individual cases are checked,” says the TK spokeswoman.

Anyone who is worried about not getting “their” medication should do one thing above all: get a follow-up prescription in good time. Pharmacist Christian Pacher from Ingolstadt, for example, recommends that his customers make sure they get supplies at least a week in advance.