Shortage of antibiotics: the sector asked to ensure better distribution

THE Minister of Health Aurélien Rousseau called, this Friday, on stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry for more solidarity to better distribute the distribution of antibiotics, such as amoxicillin, in order to guarantee access to patients this winter.

The minister, who brought together for two hours the production laboratories, the wholesalers-distributors, the pharmacists’ unions, “does not want patients to be the variables for adjusting supply difficulties”, indicated a source of his surroundings.

Aurélien Rousseau asked all links in the chain to develop “within ten days” a charter of good practice based on a logic of transparency. This concerns in particular antibiotics present in sufficient stocks, but which may be poorly distributed across the territory between the different distribution points.

Until now, it has been complicated to discern the causes and responsibilities for the difficulties in supplying medicines, due to different reports on the blocking points and even the shortage figures.

A significant shortage of certain antibiotics

In this charter “under the aegis of the president of the National Council ofOrder of Pharmacists and the Director General of the National Medicines Safety Agency”, stakeholders in the sector will have to agree “on the information tools they share to prevent shortages” and “so that there is no “There must be no wild build-up of precautionary stocks”, which disrupts the supply chain, the same source added.

Ahead of the meeting, the president of the federation of pharmaceutical unions of France, Philippe Besset, indicated that “60% of pharmacies have no or almost no amoxicillin, 20% have seven days of stocks which the we consider a reasonable stock and 20% of pharmacies have more than a month’s stock, which was our way of working before the periods of shortages which have accelerated in recent years.

Not a production problem but a distribution problem

End of October, the National Medicines Safety Agency (ANSM) had noted “stocks which were available on the national territory”, but also a “difficulty in ensuring that there was a distribution over the territory which was completely geneous”. The cause is not a production problem but a distribution problem. It is “up to the profession to prove that it is capable, in solidarity, of agreeing on the measures which make it possible to respond to supply difficulties”, the ministry emphasizes.

A demanding exercise even if all stakeholders agree on the need for transparency. Representatives of manufacturers (Leem) and pharmacists said they were ready to expand the use of their own stock management tools, whether it be DP-Ruptures which allows pharmacists to report stock shortages to the authorities and laboratories. supply, or the platform TRACLeem stocks which provides automatic tracking of stocks aggregated by drug companies. “The objective is clear: when a patient goes to a doctor or pharmacist, they must obtain precise and up-to-date information, regardless of where they are,” believes Leem.

Friday morning, the president of Sanofi France, Audrey Derveloy, ured on RTL that there would be “no problem” regarding Doliprane, a paracetamol-based drug which had also experienced periods of tension during the winter of 2022-2023. But she gave an instruction: “We do not overstock at all levels: at home, at the pharmacist, at the wholesaler. » “The stock in the pharmacy is not the cause of the shortage but it is a cause of the shortage,” declares Pierre-Olivier Variotwho chairs the Union of Community Pharmacists’ Unions (USPO) and says he brought up the idea of ​​the charter.

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