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International Summit on Medicine Shortages Concludes In Toronto With A Call To Action For Stakeholders Around The World

Delegates from around the world gathered in Toronto 20 and 21 June 2013 at the first-ever “International Summit on Medicine Shortages” hosted by the International Pharmaceutical Federation, and co-hosted by the Canadian Pharmacists Association. The purpose of the Summit was to provide a forum to discuss the causes, impacts, and means to address medicine shortages with a variety of stakeholders from around the world, including governments, practitioners, industry, and patients.

 

The Summit’s final communiqué offers a number of recommendations and ideas for stakeholders to consider on how to reduce the occurrences of medicine shortages. These recommendations will be shared with national governments, industry organizations, patient groups, and health provider groups as a tool to advocate for measures to reduce shortages. Recommendations include the following:

  • Each country should establish a publicly accessible means of providing information on shortages.
  • A global process to determine the list of critical/vulnerable products should be developed.
  • All procurers of medicines are urged to move towards active procurement processes that assure the continuity of supply of quality medicines.
  • All countries are encouraged to remove unnecessary variability of regulatory practices within and between countries
  • All countries should investigate the potential to establish a national body charged with gathering and sharing information about demand for, and supply of, medicines within their jurisdiction.
  • All countries are encouraged to develop evidence-based risk mitigation strategies which might include strategic buffer stockpiles, contingency plans, pandemic planning and capacity redundancy appropriate to their national needs.

The final report of this meeting will be released during the 2013 FIP Congress in Dublin.