Essential Medicine Shortages

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Through the essential medicine monitoring system (EMMO), we track shortages of drugs worldwide in hospitals as they happen. Consolidation in the pharmaceutical industry has left only a few manufacturers for many older, less profitable but essential and lifesaving medicines. Due to the lack of profit, companies do not always plan for backup capacity, but also issues with quality and regulatory compliance can shut down a manufacturer for months. Epidemics and seasonal illnesses are also known to cause ripples in the availability of medicines.

Why is this relevant?

Drug shortages are a major challenge for healthcare systems. They compromise the ability of hospitals to provide lifesaving and urgent care. They can lead to permanent disabilities, treatment errors and even death. When a front-line drug such as epinephrine runs out, hospital deaths increase.

80% of hospitals indicate they have trouble sourcing bare essential medicines.

How does this program help?

By establishing a global system to track shortages of essential medicines end-to-end, we will be closing a significant gap in our current understanding of shortages and give governments better opportunities to develop evidence based policies.

Delaying essential treatments to patients, has the potential to cause comorbidities, permanent disabilities and even loss of life. Acting promptly and decisively is of paramount importance and we are committed to improve the way these situations are dealt with globally.

We also believe that many economic pressures associated particularly with the outbreaks of epidemics can be minimized, if we are able to act sooner.

Status

Urgent funding is needed to speed up developments and starting a pilot program that involves manufacturers and selected hospitals.

Essential medicines list

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