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Medicines crisis in Europe: Which medicines are in short supply and why?

Medicines crisis in Europe: Which medicines are in short supply and why?

Pharmacies in Europe are reporting critical drug shortages.

In Britain, experts have called the shortage of amoxicillin very worrying as the country experiences a severe Strep A infection that has already killed nine children.

Health professionals are also warning of possible shortages in other European countries such as Italy, as well as in Canada and the United States.

In France, the government has admitted that supplies were low for both amoxicillin and the common drug paracetamol.

Emma, ??a mother of two in Lyon, says she went to six different pharmacies at the end of November before finding amoxicillin (an antibiotic) to clear up her three-year-old son's ear infection.

The phenomenon is not new, but has worsened with the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, experts say.

What medicines are affected?

In the UK, pharmacies are sounding the alarm about amoxicillin, one of the most common antibiotics prescribed to children.

Over the summer, the UK also experienced shortages of several diabetes medicines, while aripiprazole, a drug prescribed for several psychiatric conditions including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and severe autism, was also in short supply.

In France, paracetamol has been affected, so much so that the authorities have recommended that pharmacists sell no more than two boxes per patient. Short supplies of some diabetes drugs have also been reported.

In Ireland, more than 180 products were in short supply in September, according to Medicines for Ireland.