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In brief

Is there a shortage of medicines in Monaco?

pharmacie-monaco
┬ę Monaco Tribune

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

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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?┬á“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.┬á“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,”┬áshe reports.

Health professionals are also looking for alternatives.┬á“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.┬á“We have no information on the next deliveries, nor on a return to normal stock levels,”┬áCl├ęment Ferry, president of “Section A” of the Ordre des Pharmaciens de Monaco, recently told L’Observateur de Monaco.