How to prevent medicine shortages in Europe?

In partnership with The European Commission
How to prevent medicine shortages in Europe?
Copyright euronews
By Euronews
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European countries are struggling to get ahold of essential medicine supplies for its citizens. In Lithuania, the problem is no different, and many people are growing impatient.

Like many other European Union member states, Lithuania has reported a number of medicine shortages.

In Vilnius, we met its Deputy Minister of Health Aurimas Pečkauskas, to enquire about the concrete measures the country is taking to improve the situation. Among other things, cooperation between EU neighbours is also crucial to address the issue, he told us.  

"We initiated quite a lot of discussions with other countries. For example with Poland. Poland has a lot of industrial capacity and they are making less medicines, let´s put it that way, while in Lithuania as a small country we don´t have the luxury to do that."

"But we can improve cooperation with a neighbouring country and bring these medications in here. So this is one issue we have addressed, actually, and we are focusing on that going further. Of course, another issue we understood is that even in our small country, in our network of pharmacies, there are a lot of inequalities, for instance from wholesalers to concrete pharmacies, medications are not moving equally. So for example, some of the pharmacies can have the medication. Some of the wholesalers have the medication. But other pharmacies do not have them. So we improve the monitoring of drugs in the wholesalers, so we hope we can guide a little bit our industry in sharing the drugs more equally in the network of our pharmacies as well."

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