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Several European Union Bodies with Healthcare Responsibilities Take Steps to Avert Shortage of Antibiotics During Next Winter Season

  • 17/07/2023
  • News

The European Commission (Commission), the Heads of the Medicines Agencies of the Member States (HMA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) issued today recommendations for actions to avoid shortages of antibiotics used to treat respiratory infections in the next winter season (see, attached press release). These recommendations, which rely on work carried out by the Executive Steering Group on Shortages and Safety of Medicinal Products (MSSG), complement the process to develop an EU list of critical medicines (of which a first draft is scheduled for the end of the year) and are as follows:

  • Increase the production of key antibiotics: HMA are asked to continue engaging with marketing authorisation holders to step up measures to augment production. If demand next winter is in line with that of previous years, oral formulations will be available in sufficient numbers, but the position is different for specific intravenous antibiotics.
  • Monitor supply and demand: EMA and the Commission, together with Member States, will continue to monitor the demand and supply in cooperation with industry. At the same time, stockpiling of antibiotics will be discouraged.
  • Ameliorate public awareness and prudent use: In line with existing efforts, informational campaigns will continue to target both medical professionals and patients.

On 20 July 2023, another responsible body, the Commission’s Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA), will have a board meeting on the issue while representatives of the Member States, the Commission and the industry will be in attendance.


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