Blame The ‘Hamsters’: Germany’s Paediatric Fever Medicine Shortage Worsens
An ongoing crisis in the availability of children's fever medicines in Germany is due to stockpiling – or “hamstering” – by pharmacists and wholesalers, says the country's medicines regulator. This is disputed by not just pharmacists and wholesalers, but also manufacturers, which blame Germany's fixed price system for reimbursable medicines, which includes OTC children's fever medicines. Nevertheless, the German government is seeking to address the real causes of the crisis with a new draft generics law, which is being welcomed by industry.
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European self-care industry association AESGP says it supports the revision of the EU pharmaceutical legislation “in principle,” but has concerns that some of the proposals “may have unintended negative consequences.”
The German government has released a draft bill to remedy supply chain bottlenecks for antibiotic and oncology drugs, but Pro Generika, the country’s trade association for off-patent drugs, has urged it to apply these proposed changes to all generic medicines.
An overwhelming majority of consumers surveyed by IT consultancy Capgemini are concerned they will not be able to obtain the OTC health products they require or want. In the event of shortages – which are currently affecting consumers across Europe – many respondents said they would substitute with another brand, or in some cases not purchase at all.