Record highs expected for medication shortages in NL this year; pharmacists concerned
The number of medication shortages is predicted to hit unprecedented highs this year, the Royal Dutch Pharmacists Association (KNMP) warned on Monday. The organization recorded a concerning 1,514 shortages last year; however, the count for this year has already reached 1,179 this year, the KNMP reported.
"We cannot continue like this. Pharmacists are working daily for countless patient groups that are the victims of this," said KNMP chairman Aris Prins. "Large groups of people who suffer from heart diseases, gout, or infections can no longer count on their medication being available in Dutch pharmacies every day," according to Prins.
Problems stem from difficulties with production, distribution, and quality. "Drug shortages are a worldwide issue. We are aware of the lists of European shortages. However, we are increasingly noticing medicines that are unavailable only in the Netherlands. The need to import drugs is a daily occurrence. For instance, allopurinol, which is readily available in neighboring countries, is very limited here. This scarcity impacts a group of 150,000 gout patients," Prins remarked.
"It is essential that all the relevant stakeholders in the Netherlands urgently make decisions to find solutions," he emphasized.
Reporting by ANP