European paediatrician's outcry over shortage of medicine
In a letter, European doctors urged the health ministers to find a quick and sustainable solution to the increasingly severe shortage in stocks of medicine in Europe.
According to AFP, European pediatricians are reporting an alarming shortage in children's medicine, including antibiotics and asthma treatment.
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 are in short supply, for instance, amoxicillin, 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.
Seasonal diseases, most notably influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) have begun early and are more severe than usual. There is also an uncommon incidence of Strep A in children. Experts believe the exceptionally high level of disease activity is due to immune systems that are no longer accustomed to the soup of germs that surrounds us on a daily basis as a result of lockdowns.
After a couple of peaceful years (with the exception of COVID-19), this tough winter took drugmakers off guard.
Inflation and the rising energy crisis have also weighed on pharmaceutical firms, affecting supplies.