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Cyprus

Children’s antibiotic currently in short supply

Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela
Former Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela

Sufficient quantities of a children’s antibiotic will become available in Cyprus in the coming days, after it was reported stocks were in shortage, Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela said on Thursday.

On the side-lines of his visit the George and Thelma Paraskevaides Foundation where doctors from Shriners Hospital in the US were examine children, the minister the specific antibiotic can also be produced in Cyprus and that its production will start in the coming days.

The minister said that he has received assurances that there will be sufficient quantities of this medicine in the next few days.

According to Hadjipantela, it is an imported antibiotic, which is also produced in Cyprus, and he noted that “we will have production [of the antibiotic] in the next few days.”

At the end of December 2022, 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.

Greece had 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.

However, in Cyprus the pharmaceutical services claimed last week that there was no medicine shortage in the country.

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.”

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