Paris is stepping up to fight drug shortages in Europe. In an interview with La Tribune on Sunday, Roland Lescure, Minister Delegate for Industry, revealed the creation of a “European Medicines Alliance”. This initiative, which will be formalized on April 24, 2024, will work “on the model of that on batteries”. “The idea is to consult all the players – manufacturers, Member States, patient associations – to avoid shortages,” explains the minister. This initiative comes five months after the announcement of a European plan against shortages. Outages, particularly of antibiotics, have increased in Europe in recent winters.

Among the measures envisaged, the use of public procurement “to secure our supplies and the coordination of the relocation efforts of member states”, according to Roland Lescure’s office. One country could produce the active ingredient of a priority drug, another the finished product.

The opportunity for the minister to reiterate France’s commitment: over the past three years, the State has invested nearly 1 billion euros to support the production and relocation of critical medicines. More recently, 50 million were injected with a view to repatriating 25 priority drugs. However, there is no question of “giving a blank check” to the labs, warns Roland Lescure. They will have to commit to “continuing their activity in France”. Pierre Fabre has thus relocated to Occitanie the production of a treatment against melanoma, previously produced in Germany. Another French laboratory, Ipsen, has relocated the production of a drug against pancreatic cancer to the Var. The manufacture of curare, which was lacking during Covid, as well as that of amoxicillin, are also being relocated.