Shortage of drugs: “We have 50 times more ruptures in 12 years”, says Alain Astier, member of the National Academy of Pharmacy

Shortage of drugs: “We have 50 times more ruptures in 12 years”, says Alain Astier, member of the National Academy of Pharmacy

The one who led for 40 years the pharmacy department of the Henri-Mondor hospital in Créteil affirms that the logic of cost reduction is pushing the pharmaceutical industry to abandon “unprofitable” drugs.

An out-of-stock Tamiflu pharmacy.  Illustrative photo.  (PHILIPPE HUYNH-MINH / MAXPPP)

The UFC-Que Choisir alert, Monday, November 9, on the issue of the shortage of drugs in France and more widely in Europe highlighted by the Covid-19 epidemic. “Of course, it got extremely worse”, reacted on franceinfo Alain Astier, member of the National Academy of Pharmacy. For nearly 40 years, he headed the pharmacy department of the Henri-Mondor hospital group in Créteil. “In 2008, we had something like 40 annual ruptures and there we are at over 2,000. We have 50 times more ruptures in 12 years, it’s extravagant.”

Repatriate production lines

Drug breaks are the result, believes Alain Astier, of “The financialization of the pharmaceutical industry which functions like any other industry by maximizing profits and minimizing costs. Minimization of costs induced outsourcing in low cost countries, abandonment of unprofitable products. It’s all an industrial and financial logic. ”

To fight against these shortages, it is necessary, according to the member of the National Academy of Pharmacy, repatriate “Different production chains, consider finding a nonprofit system like in the US.”