The shortage of medicine is a structural problem according to the Business Federation of Spanish Pharmacists (FEFE), which blames price intervention, the volume of stock on the market, and other issues related to the government’s price policy.
This is reflected in the FEFE Medicine Observatory for February, which states that “there is something more than the supply problems reported by the pharmaceutical industry”.
It recalls that, according to the Spanish Agency of Medicine and Sanitary Product (Aemps), a total of 1,332 supply problems were reported in 2018; 44% more than in 2017.
Nevertheless, the latest Cisme application weekly report from the General Council of Pharmacists states that only 31.8% of unstocked medicine had been notified to Aemps, “which proves that there is another type of shortage related to the distribution channel and pharmacy stock”.
Solutions proposed by FEFE include changing the reference price system to make it more attractive for the industry to market low-price products, including prices on packaging again, or moving forward with a medicine replacement regulation in which this is a right of the pharmacists and not an obligation imposed for economic reasons.