Europe – EU actions to support availability of medicines during COVID-19 pandemic – update #4

The EU Executive Steering Group on Shortages of Medicines Caused by Major Events held a virtual meeting on 29 April 2020 to assess the implementation of the actions taken by EU authorities to ensure the continued availability of medicines in Europe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The heads of the national competent authorities (NCAs) of EU Member States also joined the meeting to discuss the various measures launched to safeguard the supply of medicines.

The steering group was updated on the progress of the i-SPOC (industry single point of contact) system. EMA’s fast-track monitoring system has received the first notifications of possible or anticipated shortages affecting medicines for use in COVID-19 patients. The information received by the Agency so far concerns nationally authorised medicines, in particular antibiotics and anaesthetics. The cause of disruptions in the supply of these medicines is the unexpected surge in demand driven by the health emergency and the subsequent changes in prescribing behaviours. While the i-SPOC activity continues, EMA is working on a methodology to present aggregated data to the steering group…