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13 Jun

The Lancet. Vol.385 April 4th 2015. Pgs 1279-1280

Medicines in Europe could spin out of control unless authorities act urgently to create a central base of supply disruptions, adopt preventive measures, and draw up contingency plans to ensure patients’ lives are not endangered, says health professionals.

A report published by the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP)  last November showed 86% of 607 practitioners in 36 Europeans countries had sourcing problems, and 66% said this problem arose on a daily or weekly basis. Respondents to the survey, claimed to be the most extensive of its kind in Europe, said that the three most affected therapeutic areas were infectious diseases, oncology and anaesthesia.

Worsening disease

“There is no way to know whether any patients have died because their medicines are unavailable, but we know for sure many have suffered a worsening of their disease due to interruptions in their treatment, or less effective and tolerated substitute drugs” said Francois Houyez, Director of Treatment Information and Access at the European Organisation for Rare Diseases (EURORDIS)”What we do know from the ground is that some drugs are still unavailable even when their manufacturers say they are back in stock.”

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