German pediatricians warn over children’s medicine shortages

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German pediatricians warn over children’s medicine shortages
Children's fever syrups are running particularly short in Europe right now. Photo: Victoria Model / Pixabay

Germany is facing a shortage of children's medicines, leading pediatricians to sound the alarm and call for greater procurement.


The Association of Youth Medicine (DGKJ), which represents German pediatricians, says they’re running desperately short of penicillin – a common antibiotic – as well as both pain and fever medications that come in small doses designed for children.

The issue is currently affecting several other European countries: In an open letter published over the weekend, pediatricians from Germany, Austria, France, and Switzerland appealed to their respective health ministries for action on a shortage of children’s medicines.

The doctors stressed it was "urgent to find a fast, reliable and lasting solution" to the problems facing stocks in Europe.

"The health of our children and our youngsters is in danger because of the lack of medicines throughout Europe," they wrote.

READ ALSO: European pediatricians sound alarm over medicine shortage

Which medicines are facing the greatest shortages?

Pharmacies and clinics are currently running short of a wide range of medicines. While fever, pain, and penicillin are the most severe, there are also shortages of cough medicine and anti-depressants, among others.

Sixty-eight percent of the currently active production sites for the medicines concerned are in Asia, prompting German doctors to make calls for more critical parts of the supply chain to be brought back to Europe – particularly since China’s Zero Covid policy started created shipping bottlenecks earlier this year.

The amount that German health insurances reimburse for certain pain medication – like Paracetamol – has also remained the same even as production costs have soared, putting further pressure on manufacturers.


To help deal with the shortage, German pediatricians are calling for a mass procurement of key medicines, where European countries would band together to buy big common orders – something not seen since the Covid-19 pandemic with vaccines.

READ ALSO: Germany to pay more for children’s medication as shortages spike


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