Cyprus is not facing any shortage of medicines, deputy director of the pharmaceutical services Elena Panayiotopoulou said on Monday.

Speaking to state broadcaster CyBC, she said that Cyprus is not in the same situation as other European countries as local producers have issued assurances they can meet demand.

“Small countries such as Cyprus can usually manage their stocks better than bigger countries,” Panayiotopoulou said. “However, we need to be cautious as the situation can always change.”

“A prolongued global shortage of medicines, especially of beta-lactam antibiotics and antipyretics, such as amoxicillin and penicillin, could eventually affect Cyprus as well,” she later told the Cyprus News Agency.

“That said, at least for 2023 it does not seem that Cyprus will be affected for this category of medicines. The pharmaceutical services constantly cooperate with the Cypriot pharmaceutical industry and the Cyprus Pharmaceutical Association in order to be fully prepared when the need arises.”

The deputy director of the pharmaceutical services also added that the shortages faced by several European countries concern medicines that are easily replaceable by other ones readily available and with the same efficacy.

“At least here, we are not in for surprises, the issues faced by the industry’s supply chain is on our radar, but we are in a good position,” Panayiotopoulou said.

At the end of December, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said that 25 of the 27 member states are facing serious shortages, especially of paediatric antibiotics, and are facing challenges in treating patients. The situation is similar in the US, Canada and China.

Last week, Greece announced additional measures to deal with certain drug shortages, which it attributed to an increase in seasonal virus infections, supply chain issues, the energy crisis and reduced exports from Asia.

Health Minister Thanos Plevris said that although Greece had enough supplies for now, the production of generic drugs in Greek factories would be increased and controls at pharmacy stores and big drug warehouses would take place to check if they have the reserves required under Greek law.