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[e-drug] FIP: Medicines Shortages

E-DRUG: FIP: Medicines Shortages

Dear All,

In June 2013, the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP, which is the 
world pharmacists organisation) organised an International Summit on Medicines 
Shortage in Toronto, Canada.
The purpose of the Summit was to provide a forum to discuss the causes and 
contributing factors, impacts, and solutions to the global issue of medicines 
shortages through a multi-stakeholder approach involving representatives from 
governments, healthcare practitioners and professional bodies, industry, and 

This Summit gathered evidence that the characteristics of medicines shortages 
vary greatly from country to country. The causes and contributing factors to 
medicines shortages is multidimensional, and can best be examined by addressing 
the issue from the both the demand side (predictability of fluctuating demands 
both at national and international level, procurement practices), as well as 
the supply side (manufacturing incidents, regulatory activities impacting 
manufacturing, bottle-neck steps or single manufacturers, globalisation of 

Founded on this analysis, the Summit offered a number of recommendations and 
ideas for stakeholders to consider on how to reduce the occurrences of and 
reduce the impact of medicine shortages:
- Establish a publicly accessible means of providing information on medicines 
shortages (causes, expected resolution date, possible alternatives.);
- Develop a list of critical or vulnerable products aiming at identifying the 
products requiring more attention when discussion on medicine shortages is held 
and actions are thought ;
- Institute an active procurement process taking into account and promoting the 
continuity of supply of quality medicines;
- Modify regulatory practices to remove unnecessary variability of regulatory 
practices (between countries) and improve transparency;
- Establish or appoint a national body in charge of gathering and sharing 
information regarding medicines demand, supply and shortages and providing 
- Develop evidence-based risk mitigation strategies which may include: 
stockpiles, contingency plans, pandemic planning, etc.

The report of the Summit is available at: 

Best regards

Luc Besançon | General Secretary & CEO
International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP)
Andries Bickerweg 5 
PO Box: 84200
2508 AE, The Hague
The Netherlands
Luc Besancon <Luc@fip.org>

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