Bergamo, three thousand unobtainable medicines (even life-saving), pharmacists produce them at home

Of Martha Cologni

The shortage affects more than 3,000 products, due to the lack of active ingredients and raw materials for packaging, but there are equivalents

They have headaches, neck pain or flu, but also serious illnesses that need immediate treatment. But more and more people from Bergamo are forced to leave the pharmacy empty-handed shortage of medicines affecting about 3,200 products. The cause is not to be found only in the enormous demand to cope with Covid or the seasonal flu peak, but above all in the problems associated with their production. The active ingredients are missing of medicines and the raw materials essential for their packaging, such as aluminum (used in the creation of blisters), plastic and glass.

The contingent problems associated with the war in Ukraine must also be added. “Italy imports raw materials from markets such as India and China,” he explains Ernesto DeAmici, president of the Order of Pharmacists of Bergamo —. In these countries they were the first to notice the lack of substances and active ingredients essential for production and they thought first of covering the needs of their domestic market, supplying less materials to Italy. To this must be added the lack of raw materials also for packaging. Currently it is not even possible to find injectable medicines for the treatment of osteoporosis or eye drops».

In addition to drugs for which it is possible to find equivalents with the same active ingredients, even the most particular ones are missing, even life savers. «Depakin, a drug that treats epilepsy, has been unobtainable for about a year – they explain Oriana RuzziniMalpensata pharmacist in Bergamo e Federica Alluigi, owner of the Mauri pharmacy in Ponte San Pietro —. This is a big problem because it is a drug that does not have a generic that can replace it and patients must necessarily take a particular dosage in order to continue treatment. Sometimes it is possible to find the drug with the lowest dosage, the pediatric one, but it is not easy to find the dosage for adults ».

Other medicines that are difficult to find are those related to the treatment of anxiety disorders and panic attacksand some aerosol preparations from the category of bronchodilators. “Now Rivotril is also missing in some dosages – adds Ruzzini -, a drug that serves to keep very heavy states of anxiety and panic attacks under control”. But the problem is not only these days.

In Bergamo pharmacies Nurofen syrup for children has been missing for over two months, the most used drug for the treatment of seasonal flu in children. «To remedy this problem we have decided to recreate, in the pharmacy laboratory, the galenic equivalent of the medicine – explains Federica Alluigi -. It is a preparation containing the same active ingredient in the same dosage. This is also done for many other drugs. In our pharmacy we were also able to prepare the galenic compound of a drug for the treatment of epilepsy in children».

The medicines that arrive at the pharmacy are often limited: «Fortunately, some medicines, albeit very slowly, are arriving – he says Cynthia Pesentiowner of the Central pharmacy —. The Brufen 600, in the format in sachets, is subject to quotas». «People must get used to using what they find and not what they are used to – concludes Ernesto De Amici -. This will be a serious blow to the whole economy that relies on etiquette». The Ministry of Health is trying to remedy this problem: “In recent days Federfarma has met with ministerial leaders to discuss the issue – he declares John Petrosillo, president of Federfarma Bergamo -. The ministry has promptly organized a technical table where all the subjects involved will meet, from the production to the distribution of the drug, up to the pharmacies themselves. The problem is not just Italy’s, it affects all of Europe».

January 14, 2023 (change January 14, 2023 | 07:41)

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Bergamo, three thousand unobtainable medicines (even life-saving), pharmacists produce them at home


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