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Healthcare

A Huge Medicinal Shortage Hits Europe During Coronavirus Pandemic

While the whole world is waiting for pharmaceuticals to develop medicine and vaccine for coronavirus, other medicines are facing a shortage in all European markets. Europe is already badly hit by the deadly coronavirus and not ready for this medicinal shortage, experts believe.

This medical shortage includes all medicines from sedatives to antimalarial drugs. Earlier, President Trump shared that this coronavirus pandemic is badly hitting the stocks, leaving the world economy impaired.

On this shortage, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) stated that they are trying best to continue the availability of all medicines including those which could be helpful for coronavirus patients. In his statement, the Amsterdam-based regulator shared; “Some EU Member States have indicated that they are starting to see shortages of certain medicines used for patients with COVID-19 or are expecting such shortages to occur very soon”.

Right now, Europe is the most heavily affected continent by coronavirus at least 50,000 deaths reported so far and this number is increasing. The new data report more patients of coronavirus to be admitted in the hospitals indicating the pandemic is not over yet.

Also read- US Politicians Calling for Resignation of WHO Director over the ‘Chinese cover-up’

Nine big hospitals from Europe have requested the international communities for help, asking them to regulate and support the medicinal supply for managing the coronavirus symptoms. These hospitals already warned about a shortage of certain medicines which include muscle relaxants, pain-relieving drugs, and sedatives which are being used for treating coronavirus patients.

This medicinal shortage has made the European Medicines Agency (EMA) follow emergency measures, requiring all pharmaceuticals to report them and increase the supply to meet the medicinal demand in European hospitals.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has already formed a committee to look into the causes of medicinal shortage in Europe and contacting the relevant authorities to discuss how to meet their demands.

The French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has also accepted that there is a medicinal shortage which is affecting the quality of treatment facilities in intensive care units of French hospitals as the administrators were not expecting this shortage.

The same goes for Spain where the official regulators have confirmed the tensions over the availability of certain medicines especially those which are used in intensive care such as sedatives.

To solve all these problems, the health agencies have agreed to allow using certain medicines outside their standard usage and capacity for example veterinary medicines. Likewise, an online guide for doctors, the Spanish association of intensive care medics have advised them to use the sedatives which were not commonly used before. So that the medicinal shortage could no longer affect the patients admitted to intensive care units.

The French officials have confirmed that they are communicating with certain laboratories to know that they are keeping a stock of some essential medicines. The online hype and coronavirus related myths have made people buy certain medicines that were used for treating other diseases such as malaria. The antimalarials (chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine ) to treat coronavirus is still under an experimental phase but the online hype has made it almost vanished from the local markets. And it is causing a big problem for people who were actually in need of these medicines i.e. malaria patients.

Also read- 66,000 Deaths Predicted- UK Might be the Most Badly Hit Country by Coronavirus in Entire Europe

Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are not recommended for using to prevent coronavirus and all studies on their role on COVID-19 is merely early level experiments. People often ignore the medical safety and warnings associated with any medicine and in the case of these medicines, the same is being followed.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has warned people about the potential side effects of using Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine thus discouraging them to buy it. The shortage of hydroxychloroquine is extremely critical as it is a vital treatment drug for arthritis patients as well. Two HIV drugs, lopinavir and ritonavir are also facing similar concerns as people continue to buy them and use on their own, inviting a number of side effects and worsening medicinal shortage in Europe.

Areeba Hussain

The author is a fulltime medical and healthcare writer. She graduated in Medical Microbiology and Immunology with distinction. Her areas of prime interest are medicine, medical technology, disease awareness, and research analysis. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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