faced with the risk of a shortage of paracetamol, the authorities are taking measures

L’The National Agency for the Safety of Medicines (ANSM) recommends in particular that pharmacies favor the delivery of paracetamol-based medicines by prescription and limit it to two boxes for patients without a prescription.

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A tight market. Since two weeks, purchases of Doliprane, Dafalgan and Efferalgan are rationed. “To date, there are delays in the supply of oral forms and suppositories of paracetamol”, explained the National Medicines Safety Agency (ANSM) on its website on July 12. The agency had to take measures to avoid stock shortages linked to the rebound of the Covid-19 epidemic. In particular, it recommended that pharmacies favor the dispensing of these paracetamol-based drugs by prescription and limit it to two boxes for patients without a prescription.

The agency made sure to “distribute supplies fairly throughout the territory and preserve available stocks over time”. The export of these drugs by wholesalers is also prohibited. However, it expects a return to normal after the summer. These measures will allow “all patients can have access to the drug”, assured AFP Mélanie Cachet, deputy director of the ANSM inspection department. The agency specified that the supply of paracetamol (in all its forms) to hospitals is assured.

In the wake of these announcements, the Sanofi group assured that there is “no risk of paracetamol rupture in France” and affirms that “all (its) teams are mobilized to the maximum to best meet the needs of patients”. Upsa, which packages its medicines in its factory in Agen (204 million boxes produced last year, including 115 for the French market) confirmed in Le Figaro (for subscribers): “We can guarantee continuity of access to our medicines. There is no runaway of orders and we are monitoring the situation closely.”

“We would refuse any abnormally high order”assured Laure Lechertier, director of market access at Upsa, who added more than a month of stock in pharmacies. “We have always had a strong demand since the winter, because of the Covid and the flu, so stocks are not being replenished”observed Philippe Besset, president of the pharmacists’ union FSPF (Federation of Pharmaceutical Unions of France), who also reported “tensions, but no ruptures”.

Tensions over paracetamol have already existed in the past, especially during the first wave of Covid in March 2020, ANSM reminded AFP. Similar measures to preserve stocks were then taken.

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