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Parliamentary questions
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3 March 2020
Priority question for written answer P-001269/2020
to the Commission
Rule 138
Nathalie Colin-Oesterlé (PPE)
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Shortage of medicines

The problem of stock shortages in the European Union has become considerably more acute in recent years, increasing twenty-fold in France between 2008 and 2018, placing patients in considerable danger and undermining health services at both national and European level.

In July 2019, the European Medicines Agency published two studies analysing the underlying causes of the problem (distribution bottlenecks, differences between national standards, lack of raw materials, etc.), but failing to put forward any specific solutions.

In view of this, what measures are being envisaged by the Commission and could a European health forum be set up to bring together all stakeholders (Member States, pharmaceutical industry, distributors, patients, etc.), in order to analyse the causes of these shortages and make recommendations?

Today, 80% of active ingredients, such as ibuprofen or paracetamol, are manufactured in Asia, compared to only 20% thirty years ago. Given the need for Europe to end its dependence on external production chains, what measures does the Commission intend to take to remedy matters? How does it intend to promote European production?

Original language of question: FR
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