Drug shortages in hospitals

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The hospitals in Germany are running out of medication

Experts warn of bottlenecks in drug supply in hospitals. According to media reports, the clinics are increasingly struggling with delivery bottlenecks in pharmaceuticals. It is often necessary to switch to poorer alternative preparations, writes the "Berliner Zeitung", referring to the expertise of the German Hospital Society (DKG) for the Federal Ministry of Health.

According to the latest reports, a number of hospitals face a supply emergency due to supply shortages of medicines. Under certain circumstances, "if the situation worsens further, the supply of seriously ill patients with the necessary medicines can no longer be guaranteed," the Berliner Zeitung quotes the letter from the DKG. For the first time, reliable figures on the extent of drug delivery bottlenecks were presented in the DKG paper, with the data coming from a representative survey in around 100 German clinics. The survey had shown that of the 400 to 600 different medicinal products used in the clinics, an average of four to six percent per month is not available or is not available in sufficient quantities. For this reason, around 20 percent of patients had to resort to poorer alternative preparations.

Delivery bottlenecks for antibiotics and cancer drugs The development of drug supply in clinics is of considerable concern to the experts, especially as delivery bottlenecks have worsened in recent months. That around a fifth of patients have to be treated with therapeutically poorer alternative medication is extremely questionable in terms of health. According to the “Berliner Zeitung” report, bottlenecks arise above all in medicinal products for the treatment of cancer patients, as well as in antibiotics and some intravenously administered drugs. Most of the drug shortages occurred suddenly, without warning from the manufacturer. The intensive efforts by hospital pharmacists to compensate for supply bottlenecks have so far been able to avoid serious impairments in patient care.

Registration register required for supply bottlenecks for medicinal products The causes of the supply bottlenecks for medicinal products are mentioned in the paper of the German Hospital Society, among others, too low production capacities, lower storage along the supply chain as well as problems with the procurement of active substances and higher requirements of the regulatory authorities for the quality of the medicinal products the "Berliner Zeitung". In order to avoid negative consequences for patients, the DKG believes that a central register for supply shortages of medicines should be set up, manufacturers should be legally obliged to adequately store essential medicines and central risk management is required to react promptly to impending shortages to be able to. (fp)

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