MTV News: National shortage of medicines highlighted

Hundreds of different pharmaceuticals are in short supply at any given time, including medicines used to treat everything from dermatitis to heart disease.

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File image of someone who is sick & taking medicine / Credit: iStock

There are hundreds of medicines in short supply in Finland, used to treat illnesses from dermatitis to breast cancer and heart disease.

That’s according to MTV News, who asked the regulatory authority Fimea for a list of drugs that are not easy to get hold of.

Fimea identified almost 800 medicines, although they stressed that 98% of prescriptions are immediately available at pharmacies.

However some of the medicines highlighted by MTV News include drugs used to treat depression, Parkinson’s disease, menopause, urinary tract infections, coronary heart disease, kidney disease and breast cancer, among many others.

“When a big player in the market has a production problem, it creates a snowball effect for other manufacturers who don’t have the ability to produce enough drugs to replace those of the big manufacturer” Fimea’s Johanna Linnolahti told the commercial broadcaster.

“Pharmaceutical companies should have appropriate risk management and communication plans in place […] we authorities also have to do some research before we have a complete picture of the situation in Finland” Linnolahti adds.

The Breast Cancer Association tells MTV News that drug availability problems have been a major concern among breast cancer patients. However, patients need not worry according to Executive Director Anu Niemi.

Niemi says that if the prescribed drugs are not always available there are alternatives which can be prescribed instead.

“There is no need to worry” she adds.