What is being done about the shortage of medicines?

Time and again, there is a shortage of important medicines throughout Europe. Since the Covid 19 crisis, this seems to be an increasingly common occurrence. DP MPs Carole Hartmann and Gilles Baum asked the Minister of Health what measures are being taken at national and European level in the short term to address the shortage of medicines.


« Les médecins et les pharmaciens de nos voisins allemands, belges et français sonnent régulièrement l’alarme concernant la grave pénurie de médicaments. Depuis l’année dernière, la pénurie de médicaments pour enfants est particulièrement préoccupante. Selon nos informations, l’antibiotique Cefuroxime n’est actuellement disponible dans aucune pharmacie du pays.

Dans ce contexte, nous aimerions poser les questions urgentes suivantes à Madame la Ministre de la Santé :

  • Que fait concrètement le ministère de la Santé pour que les médicaments essentiels soient disponibles en quantité suffisante dans le pays ?
  • Quelles sont les négociations en cours au niveau de l’UE pour garantir l’accès aux médicaments essentiels dans tous les États membres, et ce également à court terme ?
  • Quels médicaments ne sont pas disponibles actuellement ? Existe-t-il des alternatives, tel que des médicaments génériques qui seraient disponibles immédiatement ? Dans l’affirmative, lesquelles ?
  • Les médecins sont-ils encouragés à prescrire directement des alternatives en cette période de pénurie de médicaments ? Dans la négative, pour quelles raisons ? »

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More parliamentary questions

Do rapid diagnostic tests help against antibiotic shortages?

France is considering only allowing antibiotics to be prescribed if a rapid diagnostic test is carried out beforehand. This would make it possible to determine with certainty whether the infection is bacterial or viral.
This could on the one hand counteract the lack of antibiotics and on the other hand reduce antibiotic resistance.
DP MPs Gilles Baum and Gusty Graas asked the Minister of Health how many antibiotics have been prescribed in Luxembourg in the last five years and whether doctors should be made more aware of prescribing diagnostic tests.


Is therapeutic housing being commercialised?

Therapeutic housing is currently offered by approved outpatient psychiatric services to people suffering from mental health problems.
Rumours are now circulating that the Ministry of Health is planning to entrust the management of therapeutic housing to a commercial company.
DP MPs Gusty Graas and Gilles Baum asked the Minister for Health whether these rumours were true and, if so, why this course of action was being pursued rather than supporting the existing players in approved outpatient psychiatry.


Is there also abuse of “proton pump inhibitors” in Luxembourg?

According to a recent scientific study, the long-term use of so-called “proton pump inhibitors” (IPP), which are used to treat stomach problems, increases the risk of developing dementia. The DP MP Gusty Graas asked the responsible ministers whether they are aware of this study, what conclusions they draw from it and whether figures on the use of IPPs in Luxembourg are known.