By the Stop Stockouts Project:
South Africa is experiencing shortages of certain antidepressants and antipsychotics which is due to a range of supplier problems including a shortage of the active pharmaceutical ingredient, production problems and industrial action at local production facilities. The products mostly affected by these problems are Citalopram, Fluoxetine, Haloperidol and Olanzapine. The shortages relating to Amitriptyline, Chlorpromazine, Clonazepam and Risperidone have been addressed in the short term.
There are eight companies contracted to produce these medicines and they have been unable to supply the quantities that have been ordered. The companies are Dezzo Pharmaceuticals, Biotech Pharmaceuticals, Aspen Pharmacare, Gulf Drug, Sanofi Pharmaceuticals, Cipla, Ranbaxy and Austell. This shortage affects all provinces and may also affect availability in the private health sector.
To address this shortage, we have identified stock from other manufacturers (none contracted) that we have been purchasing to address the shortfall in supply. Unfortunately, other manufacturers do not produce the high volumes used in the State and their quantities will be limited.
The Department is managing the available stock such that facilities have adequate amounts for their patients.
We are sourcing stock from other countries where this is available to address the current shortage.
Medicine shortages are a global problem affecting all countries from time to time. The medicine supply chain is very long and complex which begins with the production of base chemicals, synthesis of these chemicals into active pharmaceutical ingredients, production of the pharmaceutical dosage form and, finally transportation of the finished product from the country of production to other countries. A breakdown in any part of this chain will result in medicine shortages in a health facility.
The Stop Stockouts Project (SSP) is a consortium of six civil society organisations dedicated to assisting the thousands of people whose lives are threatened by the chronic shortages of essential medicines and children’s vaccines in South Africa.
Collaborating to make a difference and accelerate change.
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