the bill against drug shortages adopted unanimously

The text, which must still be examined by the Senate, aims in particular to “reinforce the obligations” imposed on manufacturers to build up stocks, by including floors in the law, and by increasing sanctions.



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The bill adopted by the National Assembly on February 29, 2024 plans to include in the law minimum stocks which are currently only provided for in a decree.  (FREDERIC MOREAU / HANS LUCAS / AFP)

The National Assembly unanimously adopted a socialist text against drug shortages on Thursday, February 29, aimed at “strengthen obligations” make manufacturers build up stocks, by including minimum limits in the law, and by increasing penalties. It must now be examined by the Senate.

“Not being able to access the medications we need constitutes indescribable anguish (…) for parents, for patients”defended PS MP Valérie Rabault, author of the text. “The number of drugs in shortage has increased tenfold in ten years”insisted the MP, saying she had “awareness that the heart of the matter remains production”and calling for “a medium and long term industrial strategy”.

The minimum stocks will now have to be included in the law, whereas today they are only provided for in a decree, according to the proposed law. They will be between a minimum week and a maximum of four months for medicines in general. Another range is retained for “drugs of major therapeutic interest”, that is to say those for which an interruption of treatment is likely to jeopardize the vital prognosis of patients in the short or medium term, or represents a significant loss of opportunity for patients. In this case, the stock floors and ceilings will increase to a minimum of two months and a maximum of four months.

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