PGEU position paper on medicine shortages 2024

Position Papers

For over a decade PGEU has been publishing an annual medicine shortage report and over the years we saw the number of shortages growing progressively worse in all countries.  

Despite continued pharmacists’ efforts to find solutions, we witness a significant negative impact on patients’ health and a concerning erosion of patients’ trust in the healthcare system. The unavailability of a medicine causes inconvenience and distress to the patient, and it can lead to discontinuation of treatment, increased co-payments, medication errors and increased the risk of adverse events.  

This situation generates frustration and stress also for pharmacists and imposes an additional administrative burden on pharmacies’ daily work. In 2023 we estimated that every pharmacy across the EU spent on average close to 10 hours per week dealing with medicine shortages. This time has tripled over the last 10 years; precious time which could be devoted to other useful tasks such as providing advanced pharmacy services like vaccination.  

To tackle this crucial challenge, PGEU calls for effective policy measures to strengthen supply resilience and to allow for shortages mitigation.

PGEU position paper on medicine shortages 2024 Community pharmacists recommendations on medicine shortages – one pager 2024