The head of the North Rhine Pharmacy Association sounds the alarm because of serious delivery problems with medicines. Medicines for children in particular are currently in short supply. Staff shortages and the sharp increase in infections are among the reasons for this.
The fever juice “Nurofen” and medicines with the active ingredient ibuprofen or paracetamol are very scarce, reports the head of the North Rhine Association of Pharmacies e.V. to the TV station RTL. Pharmacies all over Germany currently have these problems. “It’s currently sometimes dramatic, I’ve never experienced anything like it,” says Thomas Preis.
Many pharmacies could still offer alternatives, but fever juice for children is rare. According to the price, even more bottlenecks are imminent in winter. What are the reasons for the delivery difficulties?
“On the one hand, the shortage is currently due to the sharp increase in the number of infections, and manufacturers and upstream suppliers often have staff shortages because many employees in the supply chain are sick or simply absent. In addition, due to the numerous relaxations in the fight against Corona, we already have a strong wave of colds and infections in summer. The drug inventories of the manufacturers and upstream suppliers are therefore used up more quickly, with fatal consequences for patient care. This is a nationwide problem. The increased need for medicines is already hitting a supply chain for medicines that has been unstable for years,” says Preis.
The generally high level of sick leave, together with the holiday season, also contributes to the drug shortages. Drugs that children often receive against diarrhea are in the travel bags of many holidaymakers and are already in short supply. These include “Elotrans” and “Oralpädon”.
“Our work is becoming increasingly difficult due to the ongoing supply bottlenecks. We have to switch to a different drug for almost every second and third prescription. There is a lack of basic medication for children. That’s the pinnacle of the problem right now. We pharmacists are shocked every day by the extent of the delivery problems,” says Preis.
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Reckitt, the manufacturer of the drug “Nurofen”, takes a position on the bottlenecks. The development of demand is currently “difficult to predict and in exceptional cases there may be short, selective delivery delays and bottlenecks”. As an alternative, the pharmaceutical company recommends suppositories for children and orodispersible tablets for children over the age of six, as a spokeswoman said.