Alternatives of antibiotics in short supply in EU, made available in local pharmacies

A variety of cough mixtures and antibiotic medicines, which are currently in short supply in the EU, are today available in local community pharmacies

The Malta Medicines Authority said that alternatives to medicines in short supply in the European Union, were made available thanks to over 800 recommendations for special authorisations it made over the last year.

In a statement on Saturday, the MMA said that its Medicines Intelligence and Access Unit participates in the European network and communicates with other competent authorities to gather intelligence and enhance access to medicines by identifying reliable sources of medicines and using regulatory flexibilities.

The MMA confirmed that a variety of cough mixtures, antibiotic medicines, specifically amoxicillin/clavulanic acid liquid formulation, and equivalent alternative medicines are today available in local community pharmacies.

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

Earlier in the week, however, Health Minister Chris Fearne played down concerns, saying that the shortage only affected a small number of medicines that were provided for free, and that they were only out of stock for a number of days.

“The Malta Medicines Authority has recommended over eight hundred special authorisations for medicines in short supply in the EU which were all made accessible to Malta this year,” MMA said.

It said that the European Medicines Agency Medicines Shortages Single Point of Contact (SPOC) Working Party declared that 25 out of 30 EU/EEA member states are affected by shortages of antibiotics resulting from an increase in demand, delays in the manufacturing of medicines, production capacity issues including lack of personnel and packaging material.

The Malta Medicines Authority falls under the portfolio of the Ministry for Active Aging.

“The MMA is closely monitoring the European and local market for shortages of medicines, continuously liaises with stakeholders, compiles and utilises medicines intelligence to take the necessary actions to source medicines which are of good quality, safety and efficacy for the benefit of the patient.”