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In early September during its 78th World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) released the results from the largest retrospective study on pharmaceutical workforce capacity. The publication describes trends of the workforce relating to gender distribution and capacity growth by taking into account figures from 2006 to 2016.
Overall, the analysis suggests an increase in the global capacity of pharmacists by 40% in the coming 12 years. The WHO Europe and Eastern Mediterranean regions displayed the highest absolute changes over the 10-year period assessed in the report. Growth appears to be slower in low-income countries. Other key trends described in the report include a steady increase in the proportion of women in the pharmacy workforce. Due to the growth of the workforce until 2030, the report highlights the need for further investigation to inform national strategic pharmacy workforce planning.
EC: paper on the obligation of continuous supply to tackle the problem of shortages of medicines
In response to a call from the Council and European Parliament, the European Commission (EC) collected evidence from 27 European Union (EU) Member States and Norway to monitor the obligation of marketing authorisation holders to ensure continuous supply of medicines laid down in the EU legislation. The paper on the obligation of continuous supply to tackle the problem of shortages of medicines summarises the findings of this exercise. It addresses the responsibilities of both manufacturers and wholesalers and bases itself on Member State responses to a questionnaire on measures implemented in the Member State territories in the context of Article 81 of Directive 2001/83/EC, which was launched in autumn 2017.
Marketing authorisation holders are obliged to ensure supply sufficiently in advance and in adequate quantities to cover demand from patients. Vigilance is needed for products whose manufacturing is dependent on a single facility and for which no or only limited alternatives are available. For products whose discontinuation of …
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.