Reinhardt’s idea sparked a wave of criticism, mainly from his own fellow doctors. But at the same time, no one offers alternative solutions. Many pharmacies report serious problems with drugs for cancer and diabetic patients, as well as a lack of funds to normalize blood pressure. “By the end of the week, our stock will run out. How are doctors and pharmacists supposed to decide which patient gets the last pack of cancer drugs?” – quotes the Bild edition of the words of pharmacist Christian Wegner, who works in the Medipolis pharmacy network in Jena. However, not only highly specialized drugs are in short supply. There is a huge shortage of the most common antipyretics – ibuprofen and paracetamol, especially in children’s doses, as well as nasal sprays. The list of scarce medicines, prepared from data from pharmacies by the Federal Institute of Medicines and Health Products, already has almost three hundred and five hundred items. But, as ARD TV points out, there may actually be many more, as pharmacies voluntarily report stock-outs and not all do.
Germany also suffers from its own rules limiting the purchase prices of medicines.
The shortage is partly explained by increased seasonal demand: In Germany, as well as throughout Europe, there is now a wave of influenza and SARS. But this is not the only reason. Most drugs and drug components for the global market are produced in just two countries: China and India, making supply chains and this market itself extremely vulnerable. The first supply problems, according to Capital, began in 2020, along with the lockdowns in China. At the same time, Indian manufacturers also suffered, receiving many components for their drugs from their Chinese counterparts. There is practically nothing to replace Chinese medicines and components. Germany also suffers from its own rules that cap the purchase prices of many medicines. Due to rising costs, including due to high energy prices, German pharmaceutical companies stop production or move it abroad, which only aggravates the situation. The German Ministry of Health has already tabled a legislative initiative easing price restrictions and offering support measures for European pharmaceutical companies.