Med shortages felt in Cyprus

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The Pharmaceutical Services have urged Cyprus-based drug companies to step up production of antibiotics and cough syrups, as they fear that a global shortage in medicines could affect the island.

In comments to Phileleftheros daily, the head of the services, Dr Helena Panayiotopoulou, said: “Pharmaceutical companies in Cyprus have confirmed there is no shortage of raw materials and that any shortages on shelves could be down to an increase in demand.

“So that is why we have asked them to increase production to the maximum over the next period”.

Panayiotopoulou explained that raw materials at the disposal of Cypriot Pharmaceutical companies suffice for a whole year.

“At the moment, we can’t see any reason to be concerned, but the ministry is monitoring the situation”.

Meanwhile, pharmacists have reported an increase in the uptake of antibiotics, cough, and fever medication, which may result in shortages in the coming weeks.

The head of the Cyprus Pharmaceutical Association, Eleni Piera Isseyegh, said shortages at pharmacies involve mainly children’s medication, specifically of the most prescribed cough medicine.

“Pharmacies replace the said syrup with a Cyprus-made one. However, the Cypriot syrup has also been scarce in recent days.”

She added that there are some shortages of cough medicines for adults, although she was unable to say whether the issue was entirely down to an increase in demand or supply issues.

“We have witnessed an increase in prescriptions for cough medication, which have gone up by 25%”.

Isseyegh said there is an increase in infections and a shortage of medicines globally.

“Each stakeholder should be responsible for calculating shortages and needs from their end so that we do not find ourselves with shortages we cannot handle.”