Shortage of raw materials, some medicines are missing: pharmacists prepare them


Shortage of raw materials, some medicines are missing: pharmacists prepare them
Written by aquitodovale

I am over three thousand medicines are deficient reported by the Italian Medicines Agency. Particularly anti-inflammatories and fever-reducing products whose use has increased significantly in recent weeks, a period of “perfect storm” that has forced thousands of people to bed due to theinfluence seasonal and, to a lesser extent, due to Covid.

Among the many commonly used drugs, which do not require a prescription, there are also ibuprofen and paracetamol. «We receive deliveries in fits and starts even if, thanks to the commitment of the Pharmacy Operators Cooperative, we try to reduce the discomfort to a minimum – explains Francesco Rastrelli, president of the Order of Pharmacists of Brescia -. However, to make up for the lack of anti-inflammatories or products to reduce fever, the National Federation of Pharmacists’ Orders has sent operating instructions for galenical productionaccording to the standards and procedures indicated in the European Pharmacopoeia, of the ibuprofen syrups for pediatric use and its dispensing in local pharmacies without the need for a prescription and paracetamol suspension to reduce fever and relieve pain.

Raw materials are missing

A concrete response, therefore, to the problem of the shortage of medicines that arose during Covid and was exacerbated by the crisis generated by the ongoing war in the heart of Europe. In fact, there is a lack of raw materials needed to package many drugs. Difficulty in finding the active ingredients, but also the materials necessary for the packaging of pharmaceutical products such as glass of vials, the film of aluminum that closes the blister, the plastic shaped to house the tablets, the paper.

«A further example of how much the role of pharmacists allows us to respond to health needs. One of the many by professionals who, during the years of the pandemic, have guaranteed a certain reference in the area – continues Rastrelli -. Pharmacists on the front line, thanks to their privileged observatory, to monitor deficiencies and, when possible, prepare medicines in internal laboratories but also promote rational use of medicines. An example: if the therapy requires a pack of twenty pills, it is useless for the patient to buy two. A duty that also involves colleagues who work in hospitals, committed to guaranteeing clinical results, the quality of care and patient safety”.

The commitment of pharmacists in the Brescia area

The alternative solution to the shortage of medicines, which risks compromising the continuity of care for many critically ill patients, is also the result of a commitment made over the years by pharmacistsonly in the province of Brescia there are fifteen hundred, and of the president of their professional order active both at regional and national level to involve the category in the decisions concerning their unstoppable evolution. Francesco Rastrelli is, in fact, Fofi delegate (Federation of Italian pharmacist orders) at the tables of the Lombardy Region and member of the General Council of Fofi in Rome.

He affirms: «If today we can look to the future of our profession with greater serenity, we owe it to a significant extent to our precious contribution, on the territory, in the hospitals and everywhere in the province of Brescia we pharmacists find ourselves working. The perception that the Brescian institutions have of our role, of the efficiency of the network of community pharmacies and of the central functions, which we carry out in the hospitals and in the territorial services of the health protection agencies, is certainly deeper now, as well as in the industry and research”.

And he concludes: «We owe this leap in quality only, and only, to our collective commitment, to our preparation, to our ability to resist pressure, at the same time adapting to new needs, supporting, and sometimes making up for, the health system in its shortcomings. Healthcare in Brescia has experienced the ability of us pharmacists to contribute to health protection, has seen how much the profession can do for citizens and for the Health Service, just remember the role in the vaccination campaign and in carrying out the Covid swabs and lastly, in the flu vaccinations which have allowed many people to be able to benefit from them by going to the pharmacy close to home ».