Patients express intense concern over the fact that Cyprus has not taken or discussed measures to avoid a possible shortage of medicines on the market, at a time when one after another European countries are making relevant decisions, including Greece , which presents deficiencies in hundreds of preparations and calls for joint action by the European Union.
Despite the assurances they received from the pharmaceutical services that Cyprus is not yet facing a problem of lack of medicines, the patients are asking for the immediate mobilization of the authorities to ensure the adequacy of the medicines, with the president of the Federation of Cyprus Patient Associations (OSAK) Mario Kouloumas to ring the bell and predict shortages in antibiotic drugs.
As Mr. Kouloumas mentioned speaking to REPORTER, “in my opinion we should not expect a shortage to take decisions and measures. We have discussed with various institutions in Cyprus and abroad and the issue has emerged as very serious. We are concerned about the possibility of drug shortages, especially due to infections, which is expected to bring a shortage of antibiotics.” Also, Mr. Kouloumas proposes, as a deterrent measure to the possible shortage of medicines, the reduction of waste on antibiotics.
Certainly, the pharmaceutical services have shown readiness from the first moment to protect the market in a a scenario that will lead to a shortage of medicines, while at the same time they have received all the necessary written assurances from the authorities, that Cyprus has stocks of medicines until the end of the year.
Apart from this, there is no complacency, since a meeting will be convened by the involved bodies in the immediate future, with the aim of making the necessary checks on drug stocks, as well as deciding on a plan in case of shortages, with the director of pharmaceutical services, Elena Panagiotopoulou, to points out that panic should not be created, since panic is what sometimes brings shortages to the market.
As Ms. Panagiotopoulou said, “the pharmaceutical services of the Ministry of Health have already sent and received a response from the Cypriot drug industry, which gave assurances that there is a stock of drugs and no shortages have been recorded. We should be very careful in what we say, because panic never leads to deficiencies. If given the impression that there are shortages, people will rush to buy medicine and there will be a huge private stockpile in homes, which is a deterrent.”
Looking forward to the cordial cooperation, the competent bodies are in constant communication and the pharmaceutical services, as the competent authority for ensuring the effectiveness, of the quality and safety of the medicines circulating in the Cypriot market, will convene a meeting with the aim of any concerns disappear.
As part of the preparedness shown by the pharmaceutical services, they are considering various scenarios, such as the prescription of other drugs in place of those that will be observed shortages. As Ms. Panagiotopoulou explained, “there are many measures and plans that a country can take regarding a possible risk and concern for the lack of medicines. Some of the measures taken by Greece, such as the drug control platform, are something that Cyprus already has and through which it is clear from the beginning that there are no shortages. Cyprus applies strict controls in the prescription control system compared to other countries”.
What Ms. Panagiotopoulou emphasized is that measures cannot be taken from the moment assurances were given, nor can patients be deprived of their medicine if there is no real need. “We are a small country and there is a reserve. We are in a better position than other countries, however, if the need arises we will make related decisions earlier”. should be worried. In the coming days, attention will be focused on what the officials will discuss at the meeting, so that there is a complete picture of the stock of medicines that our country has.
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