Antibiotics shortage leaves many Romanians without prescribed drugs
Romanians looking to fill their drug prescriptions are forced to go from pharmacy to pharmacy looking for the right type of pills due to a shortage of antibiotics.
Antibiotics have been hard to come by in Romanian pharmacies since December. Despite replacement drugs being available, most people looking for antibiotics are prescribed a specific kind by their doctors. A replacement drug, therefore, would be less than ideal.
“Unfortunately, we are facing an increasing shortage of antibiotics, both in the form of tablets and suspension meant for children,” said Adriana Opris, a pharmacist, quoted by Digi24. “We receive them in the morning and in the afternoon we have no more stock,” she added.
Pharmacies say that their storages are empty, despite constant requests for more antibiotics. “Too many drugs are missing, and it’s very hard to work and ensure proper medication for people in these conditions,” said doctor Elena Dinte, president of the College of Pharmacists in Cluj.
One drug hit by the shortage is the generic antibiotic amoxicillin. Doctors routinely prescribe it to children that develop bacterial infections, pneumonia, and other types of infections.
To tackle the lack of drugs, the Romanian National Drug Agency has contacted drugmakers and asked for transparency regarding future deliveries of antibiotics. According to the information obtained from producers, there are no supply chain disruptions that would stop new drugs from reaching the shelves. However, the authorities admit that the existing quantities of antibiotics are small.
Medicine shortages happen due to manufacturing difficulties, problems affecting the quality of medicines, or demand spikes. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has signaled several ongoing shortages of specific drugs. Among them is Zerbaxa, an antibiotic used to treat urinary tract and intra-abdominal infections. However, by and large, antibiotics are not lacking in the EU.
Meanwhile, people in Romanian counties like Sibiu or Alba, among others, are forced to continuously scour pharmacies in search of antibiotics.