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The International Pharmaceutical Federation publishes an overview of models for reporting medicine shortages
  1. Stephanie Kohl
  1. Correspondence to Stephanie Kohl, European Association of Hospital Pharmacists, Rue Abbé Cuypers 3, Brussels 1040, Belgium; Stephanie.Kohl{at}

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The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) has published an overview of models for reporting medicine shortages. The report, which is intended to support the implementation of the World Health Assembly Resolution on "Addressing the global shortage of medicines and vaccines", indicates that globally medicine shortages have worsened.

The analysis underlying the report involves systems operated by Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, South Africa, Slovakia and the United States. It compares and contrasts features such as the scope of the shortages listed, the criteria applied (such as the predicted duration of a shortage) and the sources of information used by the eight different reporting systems. Of the six countries Slovakia and the United States are both currently operating two separate systems.

By sharing best practices the report aims, on the one hand, to guide the development and improvement of reporting shortages in countries that have a system in place and also in countries which are currently developing one. On the other hand, it raises awareness of the importance of detecting and understanding the causes of medicine shortages worldwide.

EIU: Report on cancer medicine shortages

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) published a report on cancer medicine shortages in Europe, which discusses the causes of shortages and provides policy recommendations. The study underlying the report was supported by the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO).

Patient care is significantly affected by medicine shortages as they increase the potential for error or adverse events, lead to the use of less desirable alternative products or even to the failure of, or delay in, treatment. Thus, EIU was commissioned by ESMO to investigate the impact of cancer medicine shortages in Europe.

The research team reviewed academic and grey literature to identify the effect of medicine shortages on the provision of care and ways to alleviate or prevent them. In addition, the research team discussed selected policy initiatives with a panel of experts. The European …

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  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.