There are hospitals in the European Union that are already in short supply or – above all – with a shortage of medicines essential for the treatment of Covid-19 disease in the near future – and Portugal may be one of the countries that is enhancing this situation.
The accusation is made by the secretary general of a Belgian non-profit organization, Affordable Medicines Europe, which supervises the circulation and trade between wholesale pharmaceutical companies in the EU and which on its official website mentions “100 companies from 23 countries”. Kasper Ernest, the organization’s general secretary, told Reuters news agency that Portugal and Austria are among the EU member states that over-store essential drugs for Covid-19 treatment.
According to the same news agency, which heard experts from the pharmaceutical industry and European officials, restrictions on trade between countries and excessive storage in stock are the two main causes for the shortage and prediction of future shortages of drugs in some hospitals in the European Union. The agency says that “protectionist measures” were adopted by “many of the 27 member states”, with a race from each country not only for masks, ventilators and other types of medical equipment, but also for medicines.
Cited by the news agency, the European Medicines Agency even acknowledged the existence of problems. “Some EU member states have indicated that they are beginning to see a shortage of certain drugs to treat patients with Covid-19, or expect that shortage to occur very soon,” reads a statement sent by the European agency.
Among the drugs that are already in short supply in some hospitals and in the process of being in short supply in many others are “anesthesia, antibiotics and muscle relaxants” commonly used in intensive care units, to treat patients with Covid-19 who are in a condition critical.
According to Reuters, “a group of large European hospitals”, including health facilities in Italy (San Raffaele, Milan) and Spain (Vall d’Hebron, Barcelona) – the two European countries with the most confirmed cases and the most deaths by Covid-19 -, even in the last week he assumed that he will soon be unable to treat patients with Covid-19 if restrictions on the circulation of hospital and medical goods are not lifted.