Christmas medicinal shortage hits government POYC service

Weekly out-of-stock medicines list updated in November, Nationalist MP Claudette Buttigieg says even more medicines could be out of stock, government says situation “is under control”

The ministry of health has issued an urgent stock shortage alert to medicinal importers, after reporting a list of 25 items that are currently out of stock.

The list of out-of-stock items includes medicinals such as morphine tablets, codeine phosphate, insulin aspart, as well as other ointments and paraffin.

“The Ministry of Health is making every effort to provide the necessary treatment to the patient through interim and expedient solutions,” the ministry said on the website of the Central Procurement & Supplies Unit (CPSU).

While the list of out-of-stock medicinals is published every week on the health ministry’s website on Tuesday noon, the list was last published online on 7 November.

Nationalist MP Claudette Buttigieg, who brought the matter to attention, insists that even more medicines are probably out of stock, including cancer medications.

But the health ministry is insisting that the situation “is under control”, and that the scarcity has been registered across 25 of the European Union’s 27 member states.

The ministry also said patients using Aspart, Galvus, Latanoprost, Creon and the Goserelin Injection would be soon receiving their medicines at their POYC pharmacy this week. “As for antibiotics, the CPSU is seeing to the provision of these medicines,” the ministry said.

The ministry said it had held meetings with the European Commission on the difficulties of medicine provision across Europe, to ensure that Malta had as equal access to stocks as larger member states.

The ministry says the transparency in publishing the list is part of its patient-centric effort to ensure people’s needs are addressed in a timely fashion.

The Pharmacy Of Your Choice unit has a stock list of around 700 pharmaceutical items with over 118,414 registered patients benefitting from the POYC scheme.

“Any economical operator which can support CPSU by supplying urgent stocks, not limited to the ones listed within this portal, are kindly requested to forward their details to the Emergency Response Unit through email [email protected] in order to be included within the urgent calls being issued by CPSU.”