Virus not yet causing drug shortage in Europe, says EU
Measures to tackle the coronavirus outbreak have not yet led to reports of drug shortages in the European Union, the bloc's medical agency said on Tuesday.
The European Medicines Agency said supply chain disruptions could not be excluded and promised to coordinate EU actions in case of "a temporary lockdown of manufacturing sites in areas affected by COVID-19 or travel restrictions impacting shipment".
Most drugs used in Europe are made with molecules produced in Asia and in particular China, where the new coronavirus outbreak emerged last December.
Chinese officials imposed quarantines on tens of millions of people and factory closures, interrupting exports of key goods to a wide range of industries.
In France, industry bodies have warned that vaccines, antibiotics and nervous-system treatments are at risk of shortfalls.
"Supply issues can be expected if lockdowns continue and/or other supply disruptions occur," the EMA said.
European governments are racing to stem the outbreak while trying to coordinate research efforts at finding a treatment for the virus, for which drugs currently available have not proven effective.
© 2020 AFP