Media - published on 04 Jun 2020

Experts over... het antibioticatekort

This article, written in Dutch by Jenny Hasenack for Chemie Mediacentrum, looks into the issue of generic medicine production, and specifically antibiotics, in China and Europe. 

The article looks into the reasons why production of many generic medicines has recently moved to China rather than keeping such production local within Europe. The author notes that with the exception of one factory in Austria, no antibiotics have been produced in Europe since the 1990s. 

Marijn Verhoef, Company Engagement Manager at the Access to Medicine Foundation, is quoted noting that limiting antibiotic production to certain geographic areas, or even to specific factories, can lead to global shortages of medicines in the event of unexpected issues. As an example of this, Verhoef refers to an explosion in  Chinese factory that caused a worldwide shortage of the antibiotic because the API was only produced in that specific factory.

The article discusses the issue of antimicrobial resistance and the logistics of moving antibiotic production factories back to Europe. Finally, the piece wraps up by discussing how the current COVID-19 pandemic could impact the future of medicine production. 

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