Occasional shortages of certain medicines in Bosnia and Herzegovina are not alarming and periodically happen in other countries as well as in our country, assures the Medicines Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Drug wholesalers warn of the possibility of large-scale shortages, which believe that preventive systemic measures should be taken for this reason.
So far, they say, the Agency responsible for this market has successfully solved temporary drug shortages. In the last year, about 170 such interventions. After the manufacturers notify the Agency, generic parallels are sought or, in case of permanent withdrawal of a drug, means for the treatment of the same diseases. An example of the lack of a dispersant with a certain active substance.
“There are two manufacturers present on our market. Neither of these manufacturers was on the market, then one manufacturer imported the drug and submitted a request to the Batch Control Agency. This agency reacted in such a way that we take that request as a priority so that the drug as soon as possible was available to patients,” says Tijana Spasojević Došen from the BiH Medicines Agency.
The increase in production costs due to inflation and the lack of raw materials and raw materials are causing a greater than usual shortage of medicines, warn wholesalers.
“The basic and main cause is the globally disrupted supply chain, which is caused by the pandemic and the current wars on the European continent, and again, this is all a consequence of the dependence of the production of medicines on the global production sites of active substances, which are in the East”, says Faruk Hadžić from the Association of Wholesalers of Medicines and medical means of BiH.
Wholesalers, dissatisfied with the margins, warn that the continuity of supply could be disrupted in the event that there are no changes to the Regulations on Prices. But on the other hand, the Medicines Agency says that such claims do not exist. It works so that citizens do not yet feel a significant disturbance in the market.
Whether we can really expect greater shortages of medicines in the future, the authorities and some of the actors in this field say no one can know, because these are rough estimates and guesses. What everyone agrees on is that at the moment many EU countries have more problems with shortages than is the case in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Few people are willing to talk about the alleged uneven distribution of medicines due to different retail margins in the two entities. The Medicines Agency says that they determine wholesale prices, and retail margins are prescribed by entity ministries of health. One of the distributors we contacted assures that he performs evenly on the market, but does not rule out the possibility that there is a different practice.