Medicine shortage in the EU during the novel coronavirus outbreak

Briefing 15-05-2020

The novel coronavirus outbreak is an unprecedented public health crisis with far-reaching consequences. It has highlighted the EU’s long-existing structural problems related to the supply of medicines, and the dependency on third-country import for certain essential and critical medicines and ingredients. While public health policy, including the organisation of the delivery of healthcare and the sales of medicines remains in the competence of the Member States, it has also become clear that cooperation with the pharmaceutical industry, amongst the Member States, and with the Commission and the Europan Medicines Agency, is key in resolving the problems of medicine shortages in these extraordinary times This paper looks into the causes of medicine shortage during the novel coronavirus pandemic in the Union, and the responses and solutions at European level.