There are several categories of drugs affected by shortages. In some cases, the Ministry of Health recommends alternatives to doctors.
On May 15, there were 83 medicines temporarily unavailable in the Grand Duchy, informed the Minister of Health in response to a parliamentary question from MPs Carole Hartmann and Gilles Baum (DP).
The number advanced by Paulette Lenert “reflects only the products out of stock about which the Ministry of Health was notified”. The minister underlines that “the list is dynamic and changes from day to day depending on the ruptures resolved and the new notifications received”
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Last month, there were drugs from 23 therapeutic classes missing, such as antidiabetics, antitumor agents, antibiotics, analgesics, corticoids, anesthetics or drugs to treat diseases of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
Faced with the shortage scenario, which has been seen in Luxembourg and throughout Europe this winter, there is no general recommendation for doctors to prescribe alternative drugs.
In some cases, reveals the minister, these professionals are warned “through a circular or a communication from the supplier validated by the authorities”, and this information “may include recommendations for alternatives”.
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“Currently, the Ministry of Health does not have a system that allows doctors to be alerted to the lack of certain medications at the time of prescription, as is the case in Belgium”, observes Paulette Lenert.
The government is studying the possibility of creating a platform for this purpose, which could be based on the one that already exists in the neighboring country, where 85% of the medicines consumed in the Grand Duchy come from.