In brief

Is there a shortage of medicines in Monaco?

© Monaco Tribune

All European countries seem to be affected… And France in particular. 

Which is unfortunate. When it comes to medecine, Monaco is “totally dependent on France.” Questioned by Monaco Info, the President of the Conseil de l’Ordre des Pharmaciens confirms: “We have also been experiencing this shortage for some time now, too long for our chemists.”

Amoxicillin – known as Clamoxyl or Augmentin – paracetamol, as well as some corticoids, are the hardest hit according to Caroline Rougaignon-Vernin.

What is the explanation? “France’s long-standing policy of low prices has led to these drugs often being manufactured in China. Now, with the Covid-19 crisis it is experiencing, China is keeping most of these drugs for itself.”

“The chemists are struggling”

“Patients sometimes go to four, five or six different chemists,” says Caroline Rougaignon-Vernin, who visited several in the Principality. “The chemists are struggling to get stock. They spend their days on the computer trying to order the missing molecules, and they manage to get a few boxes here and there,” she reports.

Health professionals are also looking for alternatives. “When they don’t have the drugs, they call the doctors so they can suggest substitutes. In 90/95% of cases, patients leave with medication to treat themselves, but it is a lot of work.”

For the moment, the chemists have no real visibility over the next few months. “We have no information on the next deliveries, nor on a return to normal stock levels,” Clément Ferry, president of “Section A” of the Ordre des Pharmaciens de Monaco, recently told L’Observateur de Monaco.