Antibiotic shortage in Germany worsens; 'tip of the iceberg'
Since late 2022, EU countries have reported substantial difficulties obtaining key vital pharmaceuticals, with the majority now experiencing shortages, including Germany's antibiotics shortage.
Germany has been battling a drug shortage, namely antibiotics for children, which has been worsening since the beginning of this year, even though the German Health Ministry addressed the problem and vowed to take action.
Essential measures have been introduced by the ministry such as permitting local authorities to purchase the medicines in an unbureaucratic manner when necessary from abroad.
According to the spokesperson for the German Association of Pediatricians (BVKJ), Jakob Maske, in an interview with Turkish agency Anadolu, the elderly are affected just like the children in this situation.
He stressed the dire need to resolve the shortage as this is an emergency the country has never been through before, adding that despite the fact that hospitals are able to provide relatively good care, some diseases such as infection and pneumonia in infants require a supply of antibiotics that the country does not have.
As for the reasons as to why this is occurring, he cited the war in Ukraine, and stated that delivery delays from India and China have also contributed.
Doctors, per Maske, have been warning authorities of the issue, and the spokesperson reiterated the urgency of the situation and the need for immediate action to resolve it since what's occurring in the country is just the tip of the iceberg.
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Last month, in a letter addressed to the health ministers of Austria, France, Germany, the Italian region of South Tyrol, and Switzerland, doctors urged the ministers to find a quick and sustainable solution to the increasingly severe shortage in stocks of medicine in Europe.
"The health of our children and our youngsters is in danger because of the lack of medicines throughout Europe," the letter reads.
The doctors emphasized that decision-makers were accountable for guaranteeing the availability and access to medicines needed for pediatric care.
Since late 2022, EU countries have reported substantial difficulties obtaining key vital pharmaceuticals, with the majority now experiencing shortages.
Antibiotics in short supply include amoxicillin, which is used to treat respiratory infections. Other drug groups, such as cough syrup, children's paracetamol, and blood pressure medication, are similarly rare.
What's behind the shortage is a combination of rising demand and decreased supply.
Inflation and the rising energy crisis have also weighed on pharmaceutical firms, affecting supplies.
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