Shortage of essential medicines

An imminent health risk for patients?

Friday, 4 October 2019 | 12.00-13.30 | Conference Centre 1

Organised by the Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE), European Commission

Medicine shortages in European hospitals and pharmacies are a serious concern. Antibiotics, oncology medicines and vaccines are frequently reported as in short supply with a risk of under-treatment and possible medication errors from attempts to substitute missing medicines. Numerous reasons have been identi?ed including manufacturing problems, insufficient quotas, parallel trade, commercial decisions, the limited number of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) manufacturers and dependence on third countries for those APIs. This session will explore possible solutions around:

  • how to secure continuous medicine supplies for our patients,
  • how to ensure monitoring and early notification of interruptions to the medicines supply chain to find alternative solutions in a timely manner,
  • the role and responsibilities of the European Union, Member States and other stakeholders.
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Speakers & panellists


VYTENIS ANDRIUKAITIS, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, European Commission


BRIGITTE ZARFL, Minister of Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer protection, Austria

KRISTIN RAUDSEPP, Director General, State Agency of Medicines, Estonia & Co-chair, EMA-HMA Task Force on Availability of Authorized Medicines

PETR HORÁK, President, European Association of Hospital Pharmacists

RICHARD BERGSTRÖM, Director General, European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations


MARTIN SEYCHELL, Deputy Director-General, European Commission Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE)

Available Biographical Information

NameAndriukaitis, Vytenis
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NameZarfl, Brigitte
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NameRaudsepp, Kristin
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NamePetr, Horák
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NameSeychell, Martin
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NameBergström, Richard
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