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Health and Food Safety Directorate General

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Pharmaceutical Strategy: Commission publishes a study on shortages of medicines

Today, the Commission published a study on medicines shortages in the EU, which has been requested by stakeholders, the European Parliament and the Council. Shortages present a significant problem for the quality and continuity of patient care, and can also have economic consequences. Though a number of actions have been launched in recent years to address shortages at EU-level, the COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the issue of availability of medicines and the vulnerabilities of supply chains. The study published today provides an overview of medicines shortages in the EU, on the basis of available data, as well as an analysis of their roots causes. It also presents an evidence-based assessment of the current legal framework, as well as potential solutions to address shortages through a series of 16 policy measures. The report will feed into the Commission’s on-going work on the Pharmaceutical Strategy, an ambitious, long-term project in the area of health, intended to make the European pharmaceutical system patient-centred, future-proof and crisis-resistant. The Commission aims at presenting a legislative proposal at the end of 2022, including measures to address shortages.

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