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European Union

EU task force guidance on how to report drugs shortages published

An EU task force, set up to deal with problems with medicines supply, has published guidance to improve communication about medicines shortages.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced on 4 July 2019 that the two-part guidance should result in quicker information on medicine shortages from manufacturers, as well as better communication to patients and healthcare professionals.

In its guidance on communicating to the public and clinicians on medicines supply problems, the task force recommends that each EU country maintains a catalogue of medicine shortages, which is easily accessible online with user friendly search tools.

“These groups require timely, accurate and up-to-date information on availability issues to ensure continuity of care,” the EMA said.

The task force highlighted methods used in some EU countries, including issues and alerts on shortages in electronic patient records and electronic prescription systems, which could be copied elsewhere.

In guidance to manufacturers and wholesalers, the task force included a template form to encourage standard reporting of medicine shortages.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2019.20206766

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