EU ministers discuss medicine shortages, vaccination, tuberculosis

October 5, 2016 11:02 am 

BRATISLAVA, Oct. 5 — Health ministers of EU member states discussed medicine shortages at an ongoing informal health meeting here, Slovak health minister Tomas Drucker announced at a press conference on Tuesday.

The issue tops the political agenda in many European countries.

"Low prices of medicines leading to parallel exports, disruption in production, and shortages of active substance are among the reasons for the problem," stressed Drucker.

Ministers agreed member states could succeed in solving this issue through early and operational exchanges of information and regular mapping of the situation. Cooperation between member states in this area is of high priority.

"At the forum, we focused particularly on identifying the main reasons for shortages of medicines and on seeking possible solutions to this issue. Our goal is to secure quality, safe and accessible treatment for all our patients," said Drucker.

Another topic highlighted at the meeting was food reformulation, with a focus on acquiring and evaluating member states' good practices regarding the topic.

In response to ever-increasing rates of overweight and obesity, which are reaching epidemic levels in Europe, it is necessary to promote decreasing the excessive intake of calories, saturated fats, trans-fatty acids, sugar and salt in food.

Participants at the informal meeting also discussed the issue of tuberculosis in Europe from the perspective of treatment, multidrug-resistance and vaccination.

Vaccination was a topic of discussion because it is closely related to the consumption of antibiotics: decreases in vaccination result in an increase of antibiotic use.

"The global action plan on antimicrobial resistance should be a health policy priority for every country," stated Drucker. (PNA/Xinhua)



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