The Malta Chamber of Pharmacists issued a statement addressing the present situation of reduced access to medicines in community pharmacies.
The statement said that medicinal products, ‘whether originators or generics, are received by wholesale dealers, in varying amounts and, in the present circumstances, the [Chamber] and pharmacists expect that these are equitably distributed immediately to community pharmacies; the real situation is that they are quickly depleted off pharmacy shelves.’
The statement went on to say that the media may have also contributed to the increasing pressure. ‘The underlying maxim remains that of getting the right medicine to the patient needing it at the right time.’
‘The media should be playing a very important role in factually informing the public without unnecessary sensationalism, as caused by naming and listing products, which causes gratuitous panic and pressure on pharmacists and prescribers’ the statement finished.
The chamber added how it is a moot point to state that Malta is not alone in Europe to feel the effect of the various reasons which result in shortages.
Some of these reasons include: issues with logistics in transport to manufacturers and importers/dealers; lack of supply of raw materials by primarily India and China; the COVID-19 pandemic; the Ukraine war; Brexit; and the downtrend in flu and colds during the COVID-19 precautionary practices leading to a surge of demand as of September 2022 of antibiotics.
The Chamber reiterated the role of primary healthcare professionals, pharmacists, doctors and the health authorities as being that of supporting, guiding and educating ‘the public on the correct use of any available antibiotics.’