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What measures should be taken to prevent a shortage of paracetamol?

 Doliprane, Dafalgan, Efferalgan What measures should be taken to prevent paracetamol shortage?

Health authorities have recently taken measures to prevent a possible shortage of paracetamol. What do they mean and when will they end? 

What measures should be taken to prevent a shortage of paracetamol

Purchases of Doliprane, Dafalgan, and Efferalgan have been rationed for almost two weeks. The National Agency for the Safety of Medicines (ANSM) has taken strict measures to prevent a possible shortage.

"To date, there have been delays in the supply of paracetamol in oral forms and suppositories," the company said in a statement on its website on July 12 (source 1). This is directly linked to the recurring Covid-19 pandemic. He even asked pharmacies to do so: 

  • prioritize the dispensing of prescription paracetamol medicines
  • and limit it to two packets for patients without a prescription.

Wholesalers are also banned from exporting these medicines and the agency says it ensures that stocks are evenly distributed across the country to keep the supply of medicines open for a long time. It also ensures that the supply of paracetamol (in all its forms) to hospitals is safe.

"Thanks to these measures, all patients will have access to the medicine," Mélanie Cachet, deputy head of the ANSM's inspection unit, told AFP."

Back to normal after the summer?

Following these statements, the Sanofi group assured that "there is no risk of a shortage of paracetamol in France". The Union of Applied Scientific Pharmacology (Upsa), which packages the medicines at the Agen plant (around 204 million packs will be produced by 2021, 115 of which will be intended for the French market), told Le Figaro "We can guarantee continued access to our medicines. We are in no hurry to place orders and are closely monitoring the situation" (source 2). Philippe Besset, President of the FSPF (Federation of pharmaceutical unions of France), said: "We have a lot of demand from the winter due to Covid and flu, so stocks are not being replenished" and spoke of "tensions but no shortages".

"According to the information currently available, the situation should return to normal by the end of the summer period," ANSM said in mid-July. But as Pierre-Olivier Variot, President of the Union of Pharmacists' Unions (USPO), told on July 27, the situation had not improved at the end of July: "We are facing a tension in supply. If it is not a brand, it is a form that is missing" (source 3). And to specify: 

"We have a big shortage of Doliprane in both syrup and suppository form, especially for children. But there are also those for adults in tablets".


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