The risk of drug shortages has further increased sharply in 2023

The difficulties in supplying medicines have further worsened in 2023 in France, approaching 5,000 declarations of stock shortages or risks of shortages, according to a report from the National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (ANSM) published Friday, January 26

The risk of drug shortages has further increased sharply in 2023

The difficulties in supplying medicines have further worsened in 2023 in France, approaching 5,000 declarations of stock shortages or risks of shortages, according to a report from the National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (ANSM) published Friday, January 26.

In total, the ANSM recorded 4,925 reports last year, compared to 3,761 in 2022, an increase of 30.9%. They more than doubled (128%) compared to the 2,160 reports received in 2021, the organization said in a press release. The same medicine may be the subject of several reports by those involved in the distribution of products during the same year, recalls the ANSM in its press release.

If “all classes of drugs are concerned”, underlines the Agency, “cardiovascular drugs, nervous system drugs, anti-infectives and anti-cancer drugs are more particularly represented”.

Multiple and recurring problems

The problem, which has been recurring for several years, affects many countries. Its causes are multiple: “Difficulties occurring during the manufacturing of raw materials or finished products, quality defects on medicines, insufficient production capacity, fragmentation of manufacturing stages, etc. », lists the ANSM. Added to this is the increasing need for medicines against a backdrop of aging populations.

Concerning the most common antibiotic, amoxicillin, the ANSM has noted “for several weeks a progressive improvement in the supply” of pharmacies and wholesale distributors “across the country, in particular for pediatric presentations”.

Actors in the medicines chain (industrialists, depositaries, wholesale distributors, community and hospital pharmacists) are nevertheless called upon to continue their efforts and to “anticipate supplies now to guarantee coverage of needs at the end of this winter season. For other antibiotics, “such as azithromycin and pediatric cefpodoxime”, the situation has become more fragile, and manufacturers have also been asked to release their stocks, adds the ANSM.

The stakeholders as a whole committed this fall to a charter of good practices aimed at sharing their data on the availability of medicines, under the aegis of the ANSM.