Medicines in shortage – time for action!

Ensuring continuity of treatment and care

Friday, 29 September 2023 | 11:45-13:00 | Conference Centre

Organised by the European Healthcare Distribution Association (GIRP), supported by IQVIA

Medicine shortages have been making headlines even before COVID-19, but the dynamics of the issue are evolving while the solutions are still in development. Recent examples of antibiotic, hormone replacement therapy, and chemotherapy shortages have become examples of the extent to which shortages can disrupt continuity of care, create panic in the system, and have reputational damage to stakeholders from manufacturers to governments.

The reality of the issue in previous years was that the medicines in shortage were multi-source products, and were only in shortage in local markets but with significant volumes available elsewhere in Europe. Over 14,500 active shortages exist today, and since COVID-19 there is an increasing number of pan-European shortages. The challenges shift, becoming more about regional visibility, forecasting demand, hoarding management, targeting certain product-types, and assessing the API-risk.

Europe is not alone in facing the challenges that shortages bring, but is in a uniquely strong position to prepare, mitigate, and predict the risk to patients and healthcare systems. This session will cover some of the latest data on shortages, and offers a debate between all the major stakeholders in the European policy setting, including medical agencies, patients, legislators, manufacturers, and distributors, to move towards solutions.

Session Recording


  • Bernd Grabner, President, European Healthcare Distribution Association (GIRP)
  • Malin Grape, Ambassador on Antimicrobial Resistance, Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, Sweden
  • Victor Mendonça, Head of Policy and Market Access Europe, Medicines for Europe
  • Dimitra Panteli, Programme Manager, European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies
  • Anca Toma, Executive Director, European Patients' Forum


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