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Shortage of Critical Medicines: is a European Solution Available?

Shortage of Critical Medicines: is a European Solution Available?

Czech Republic
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There has been much discussion about protracted shortages of critical medicines in the Czech Republic over the last couple of months. Many national measures have been adopted. At the European Union level,the Voluntary Solidarity Mechanism for medicines has been put in place.

This mechanism allows EU Member States to alert their peers about a critical national shortage of a certain medicine. Another Member State may help by redistributing its own medicinal stocks. The European pharmaceutical reform also addresses the composition of the European list of critical medicines.

A new Critical Medicines Alliance should launch in the coming weeks. The Alliance will focus on establishing common rules for public procurements on the production and distribution of critical medicines, setting up a common strategy to tackle shortages of critical medicines and creating enough stocks. The Alliance’s aim is to strengthen the ability of EU Member States to produce their own critical medicines "domestically" and foster international cooperation on the production and distribution of critical medicines.  

By Vladena Svobodova, Senior Associate, JSK, PONTES

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