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Europe Drugmakers Warn of Potential Shortage of Cheap Generics as Energy Crisis Strikes
Europe Drugmakers Warn of Potential Shortage of Cheap Generics as Energy Crisis Strikes

Europe Drugmakers Warn of Potential Shortage of Cheap Generics as Energy Crisis Strikes

  • 20-Feb-2023 3:45 PM
  • Journalist: Harold Finch

Europe: Europe's drugmakers are warning of a potential shortage of cheap generic medicines due to increasing electricity costs. They are urging policy makers to revamp the pricing system and ensure that affordable generics remain available.

Medicines for Europe, a lobby group representing major generic drug companies such as Teva, Sandoz (Novartis) and Kabi (Fresenius SE), recently penned an open letter to the energy and health ministers of EU member states.

The EU's 27 energy ministers will come together to address Europe's energy crisis. Under consideration are measures such as a tax on windfall profits from fossil fuel companies and a gas price cap.

Many drug factories in Europe have seen a drastic increase in electricity prices and an even greater surge in raw material costs by as much as 160%. This has resulted in a 10-fold rise in electricity prices and 50-160% increases in raw material costs.

The pharmaceutical industry from EU efforts to reduce electricity consumption, and to allow the off-patent medicines sector to take part in lenient state aid regulations aiming to bolster the economy.

Medicines for Europe has reported that in several member states, generic drug associations are advocating for greater flexibility about the prices of prescription medications. Such initiatives seek to make medicines more available and affordable to those who need them the most.

"We may discontinue maybe three, maybe five products due to the direct and indirect impact of increasing energy costs," said Elisabeth Stampa, chief executive of Medichem SA, a pharmaceutical ingredients producer based near Barcelona in Spain, specializing in generic drugs.

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