Improving the management of shortages

News Category: Regulatory news

Date: 05/09/2018

A new national initiative has been established to better manage medicines shortages and their impact on Irish patients.

Medicine shortages are increasingly prevalent globally, and Ireland, like all European countries, has the potential to be affected. The HPRA has created a new function internally to co-ordinate the management of medicine shortages and it will work closely with various stakeholders who have already fully committed to playing their role as part of a national strategy. The HPRA has also created a dedicated section on its website to provide information on the medicines which are in short supply, and their anticipated return to the market. This will be regularly updated as new information becomes available.

The Medicine Shortages Framework is a collaborative initiative that brings together key players in the health sector with the aim of developing strategies to mitigate the effect of shortages in Ireland so that patient health is protected. This new framework will result in a co-ordinated national response to managing medicine shortages and provides mechanisms that can be swiftly activated if a shortage of a particular medicine does occur. It strengthens and improves procedures which provide enhanced protection for patients through forward planning and shortage identification.  It was developed after extensive consultation with a wide range of stakeholders involved in the provision of medicines, including other state health sector bodies, healthcare professionals, patient groups, and industry. 

The framework document, information on medicines which are in short supply, notification forms and other information to assist all stakeholders in the management of medicines shortages are available on the HPRA’s website
The HPRA’s shortages function can be contacted via email at 

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