An information circular issued today by the national regulator updated the medicines temporarily suspended from export, a list which is set monthly to include medicines that have broken out in the previous month and whose impact has been considered medium or high according to the availability regulations.
According to Infarmed, this ban aims to ensure the supply of the national market after the occurrence of a rupture and applies to all players in the circuit, including manufacturers.
Compared to January, when the export of around 110 drugs was temporarily banned, today's updated list includes 138 presentations of drugs of different categories and active substances, such as amylase, amoxicillin, paracetamol and ibuprofen.
Speaking to Lusa, the president of the National Association of Pharmacies (ANF) said that the shortage situation "is stable", continuing to see "sometimes delays in the replacement" of certain drugs most used in winter and others for which there was a shortage notification.
According to Ema Paulino, this shortage has been "transversal", affecting both drugs used for chronic diseases, and for which there are generally alternatives on the market, such as drugs for respiratory infections, such as analgesics, anti -inflammatories and antibiotics.
"We continue to find alternatives in pharmacies, when possible, or in circumstances where it is necessary to contact the doctor, in order to modify the prescription", specified the head of the ANF.
Despite the shortcomings in the market supply which have sometimes made themselves felt, "we have found an alternative and people are not left without treatment", assured Ema Paulino.
According to him, several working groups are working, within the framework of Infarmed, “to find other mechanisms which also make it possible to attenuate the effects of these absences on people”.
Among these measures is the Via Verde do Medicamento, a mechanism used by pharmacies to manage stocks of medicines in shortage, an area where "improvements have already been identified and are being discussed to be implemented", said Emma Paulino.
In addition, these working groups are studying how to improve communication between different health professionals to ensure that information on drug shortages reaches prescribers quickly, so that they can find alternative drugs.
In January, the Ministry of Health announced that the prices of the cheapest drugs will increase by 5% to facilitate access to drugs and avoid stock-outs.
“Drugs with a retail selling price (PVP) of less than 10 euros have their price discounted by 5% and those whose price is between 10 and 15 euros will be discounted by 2%”, specifies the Ministry of Health. (MOH) in a statement, explaining that this update takes place outside of the usual annual price review process.
For Ema Paulino, this price increase should be applied in March or April, an “important” measure since it is the first increase in twenty years “to ensure the viability of the sectors”.
“We think this is an important measure and that it will help stabilize distribution chains,” said the ANF president.