Winter illnesses will soon make a comeback and the government is seeking at all costs to avoid shortages of medicines, particularly antibiotics. The executive wishes to present several measures.
The government is preparing for the return of winter illnesses. It will thus make the individual distribution of certain antibiotics out of stock compulsory, according to information from franceinfo from government sources, Wednesday September 20.
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Concretely, when certain antibiotics are in shortage, pharmacists will have to deliver them pill by pill to the patient who presents a prescription, rather than selling the entire box.
This single sale is not very popular with pharmacists, but the executive wants to avoid that after a treatment, half-consumed boxes are lying around in the cupboards when there is a shortage of them.
Other emergency measures regarding manufacturing
Another measure, already announced by Aurélien Rousseau, the Minister of Health, on franceinfo: the possibility for pharmacies to issue antibiotics without a prescription, provided that the patient first takes a test.
The government is also working on the industrial chain. This is important because these shortages are due to problems with the delivery of raw materials, poor inventory management, etc. A whole system on which the Ministry of the Economy is working.
In the newspaper The echoes Wednesday morning, Roland Lescure, the Minister of Industry, announced that in the event of a shortage, hospitals, like manufacturers, will also be able to manufacture preparations, whatever the drugs. Hospital pharmacies, like that of AP-HP, will therefore be able to produce. These will necessarily be smaller quantities, but the objective is to help out.
The government will also take inspiration from the Florange law: if a manufacturer stops the marketing of a drug deemed to be of major therapeutic interest, it will absolutely have to find a buyer. Otherwise, the State may force it to transfer the use of the drug free of charge for two years to a public structure or to hospitals. A sort of right of pre-emption.
On the price side, there is a real standoff with the manufacturers depending on the medicine. But for example, the government has already announced that the selling price of Amoxicillin, the best-selling antibiotic in France, will be increased by 10%. A price increase to encourage manufacturers to favor the French market, not to delocalize, or even relocalize. In exchange for this increase in prices, manufacturers will be obliged to ensure stocks and supplies in France.
Most of these measures will be included in the social security budget which will be presented next week.