Medicines that have become “untraceable” in Italy: what they are


In Italy there are about 3,200 “untraceable” drugs: this is what emerges from the latest update of AIFA, the Italian Medicines Agency which constantly publishes, on its official website, the list of temporarily deficient medicines.

The shortage of commonly used medicines in our country, in a period of high flu diffusion, is caused by various factors, starting with the war between Russia and Ukraine and the consequent production problems related to energy crisis and the scarcity of packaging materials, such as glass and aluminum.

The peak of flu season and the long wave of Covid which also affects countries producing active ingredients such as China and India, further complicates the situation, contributing to the shortage of drugs. The Federation of Pharmacists, already during the spring of 2022, had raised the alarm, denouncing the unavailability of various anti-inflammatory medicines.

Medicines temporarily lacking in Italy: what they are

Based on the list published byAIFA and updated to January 5, 2023, among the hard-to-find medicines there are several that are very common such asAugmentinone of the most widely used broad-spectrum antibiotics,AspirinAmoxicillin, Aerosol Clenil, Malox, Mucosolvan Syrup and Neo Borocillin Throat Lozenges.

Among the temporarily “untraceable” medicines we also find: Fluifort, Gaviscon, ILasix buprofen, the anti-inflammatory Nurofen, the gastroprotectors Omeprazole and Pantoprazole and also Tachipirina. In general, some of the products are in short supply in Italian pharmacies most used drugs such as anti-inflammatories, antipyretics, different types of antibiotics, cortisone for aerosol, cough products, but also antihypertensive and antiepileptic drugs.

Andrea Mandelli, the president of Fofi, the Federation of Orders of Italian Pharmacistscommented on the situation that has arisen in our country as follows: “It is a complex issue that closely concerns people’s health – explained Andrea Mandinelli in a speech on Radio Capital – for this reason it must be tackled as soon as possible and according to a system vision, taking into account the current economic and energy context which affects the production and distribution costs of drugs, goods for which fluctuations in the price that is decided by the State”.

However, the president of Fofi reassured the citizens despite the long list of hard-to-find drugs according to the latest update of 5 January 2023: “I would like to underline that citizens are never left alone pharmacists remain an irreplaceable point of reference for informing and guiding patients, even suggesting the use of equivalent medicines and alternatives of the same class therapeutics”.

AIFA, Italian Medicines Agencyconstantly updates and publishes the list of temporarily lacking drugs on the institutional portal page. The list contains various information: the commercial name of the drug in short supply, the active ingredient, the pharmaceutical form, the packaging and the name of the company that holds the marketing authorization, the start and presumed conclusion date of the shortage, the existence of equivalents and the reasons that determine the shortage.

At the same time, AIFA also publishes the list of medicines which cannot be removed from distribution and sale in order to guarantee a sufficient supply of medicines to meet the treatment needs throughout the national territory.

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Medicines that have become “untraceable” in Italy: what they are

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