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Medicines for Europe calls for pharma supply chain remedies as COVID-19 pandemic worsens

European generics industry association highlights risks to supply of essential medicines that manufacturing stoppages can pose

As the global coronavirus pandemic worsens, generics industry association Medicines for Europe has called for all available European pharmaceutical manufacturing to remain open and running at all times and highlighted the risks to the supply chain that stoppages pose.

“If a region is struck by an outbreak, we must keep medicine factories open with additional hygiene/control measures,” the European generics industry association said. “Any stoppage creates a risk in the supply chain and heightens the risk of medicines shortages. We also need access to essential equipment like protective clothing or filters. We need solutions for employees to keep working if schools close or if there are restrictions on the movement of people.”

Medicines for Europe also said it was important that there are no export restrictions on manufacturers of medicines and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), hoarding of supplies should be strongly discouraged and green lanes for cross-border transport of medicines should be set up as soon as possible not just between European countries but also between the EU and the US.

The association also called for clear regulatory guidance to counter the continued stress on global supply chains that arises out of production and logistics issues.

“Medicines for Europe has outlined the measures that could be taken to deal with any specific constraints and to keep manufacturing going at full speed,” it said.

Finally, the association said its members are analysing the possible future scenarios of the spread of the virus to plan for possible future surges in demand.

“We will work to continue supplying chronic disease medicines while also planning for additional emergency medicines production or importation,” it said.

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