Greece, Italy face persisting drug shortages

February 3, 2023, 1:37 pm

ATHENS / ROME – Pharmacists in Greece and Italy have pinpointed two main reasons for the persisting drug shortage in the two countries.

The first is the limitation by China and India on the export of raw materials needed for drug production, and the second is the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Speaking to Anadolu, Konstantinos Lourandos, the president of the Pharmaceutical Association of Attica, said the main problem behind the medicine shortages in Europe is the shortage of raw materials used by the industry.

However, the situation in Greece is different.

Greece imports medicines but some big pharmaceutical depots re-export them to the countries where they are priced higher, Lourandos said.

Therefore, according to him, Greek authorities should find a way to prevent the re-export of medicines.

Also speaking to Anadolu, Andrea Mandelli, the president of the Italian Pharmacists Federation (FOFI), said the drug shortage is particularly severe in certain products such as nose sprays with cortisone, pediatric antibiotics, and cough syrups – even though the overall situation has improved recently.

He stressed the decrease in the export of raw materials used for drugs from China to world markets played a critical role in this.

Mandelli reiterated that the ongoing war in Ukraine has also led to an increase in drug prices and supply shortages. (Anadolu)