B1 - Access to medicines: Addressing medicines shortages

Meeting room: Hippokrates

Rapporteur: Arif Ozdemir, President, EAHP Turkey Chapter, Turkey


Katarina Milosevic, Chamber Assembly President, Pharmaceutical Chamber of Montenegro, Montenegro and Josep Maria Guiu Segura, Vice President of Europe, FIP Hospital Pharmacy Section, Spain


Supported by the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP)

Target audience: Hospital pharmacy, Health and Medicines Information, Industrial Pharmacy, Military and Emergency Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Policy and regulation, Social and Administrative Pharmacy, Ethics


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), access to safe, effective and quality medicines and vaccines for all is vital for the health and wellbeing of the population. WHO supports governments in promoting stronger infrastructure allowing improved access to medicines and vaccines? How can pharmacists be part of the solution for better patient care?

Access is a global concern in view of the persisting problems of shortages of medicines. Without timely access, yet more pressure will be placed on hospitals through patients having emergencies due to a lack of medication. Since 2006, health professionals in the EU have noticed a significant increase in the number of shortages. It remains a concern for all actors of the pharmaceutical chain, from manufacturers to wholesalers, community pharmacists and hospitals.


  1. 11.00 – 11.05 Introduction by chairs
  2. 11.05 – 11.20 EAHP Position on the medicine shortages in European health systems
    Aida Batista, Vice President, EAHP, Portugal
  3. 11:20 – 11:35 The impact of Brexit on access to medicines
    Ashok Soni, FIP Vice President, United Kingdom
  4. Pharmacists’ warning systems on medicines shortages
    Sonia Ruiz Morán, International and European Public Affairs Director, General Pharmaceutical Council of Spain, Spain
  5. 11:50 – 12:05 Coping with medicine shortages in the Netherlands
    Madeleine Sirks, Pharmacist, Royal Dutch Pharmacists Association, Netherlands
  6. 12:05 – 12:30 Moderated discussion with speakers and audience

Learning Objectives

At the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Outline the strategies focused on improving access to essential medicines.
  2. Identify the gaps and barriers to access to medicines.
  3. Identify how to improve access through national and international policies.
  4. Define the importance of pharmacists’ involvement in various strategies improving access to medicines.