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WHO experts say there is a shortage of antibiotics even in rich countries

The World Health Organization collects data on the availability of antibiotics in 35 countries around the world.

The World Health Organization collects data on the availability of antibiotics in 35 countries around the world.

Photo: Anastasia OSIPOVA

The World Health Organization collects data on the availability of antibiotics in 35 countries around the world. The shortage of penicillin drugs is observed in 80 percent of these countries. Difficulties are experienced by the United States, Canada (not enough amoxicillin) and the lion’s share of the countries of the European Union (25 EU members out of 27). This was announced by Lisa Hedman, head of the WHO drug supply and access team. There is no information on the situation in third world countries, but the picture is hardly more optimistic there.

The current deficit is a kind of echo of the COVID-19 pandemic. First, during covid times, the demand for antibiotics has fallen. Secondly, due to coronavirus restrictions, supply chains have been severed in many cases and so far there has not been a full restoration of economic ties. Therefore, it is not possible to quickly restore production volumes.

In addition, the pharmaceutical industry was not ready for a sharp increase in infectious diseases. The shortage of medicines has also arisen because “countries did not expect that respiratory infections would hit us so hard in the first year without masks,” Lisa Hedman explained to the Financial Times.

In Russia, despite the growth in demand, there is no shortage of antibiotics based on amoxicillin and cefuroxime, reports RIA with reference to experts from the Center for the Development of Advanced Technologies. The formed commodity stocks allow to meet the growing demand.

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