Blame The ‘Hamsters’: Germany’s Paediatric Fever Medicine Shortage Worsens
An ongoing crisis in the availability of children's fever medicines in Germany is due to stockpiling – or “hamstering” – by pharmacists and wholesalers, says the country's medicines regulator. This is disputed by not just pharmacists and wholesalers, but also manufacturers, which blame Germany's fixed price system for reimbursable medicines, which includes OTC children's fever medicines. Nevertheless, the German government is seeking to address the real causes of the crisis with a new draft generics law, which is being welcomed by industry.
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An overwhelming majority of consumers surveyed by IT consultancy Capgemini are concerned they will not be able to obtain the OTC health products they require or want. In the event of shortages – which are currently affecting consumers across Europe – many respondents said they would substitute with another brand, or in some cases not purchase at all.
Germany’s Bundesministerium für Gesundheit is reworking the country’s off-patent drug legislation to allow for more flexible pricing.
Rising inflation has exacerbated pressures in the off-patent drug sector, prompting Medicines for Europe and the US Association for Accessible Medicines to call for regulatory intervention to ensure the long-term sustainability of the space.