Antibiotics: towards a shortage of amoxicillin?

“The tensions could last until March 2023“, expressed the National Medicines Safety Agency (ANSM) for France Info. Amoxicillin, an antibiotic mainly used in France to treat bacterial infections, is added to the list of drugs that missing in pharmaciesAnd this in the entire Europe. “There is a global shortage of plenty of drugs : anti-inflammatories, paracetamol, antibiotics…”, says Dr. Franck Gugon, phytotherapist.

New recommendations for use

The ANSM and the Ministry of Health must communicate shortly on this subject in order to establish new recommendations for use. In the meantime, the Medicines Agency says it is doing “everything” to “secure the situation” and “ensure patient needs“. It could be recommended to reduce the prescription of antibioticsand of reduce treatment time. The National Medicines Agency has already asked pharmacies not to exceed a certain number of boxes of antibiotics, in particular drinkable forms which are the ones most missed.

What are the causes of the shortage?

What are the causes of these supply disruptions ? First of all, antibiotics are increasingly used. Mainly prescribed in case of otitis, bacterial angina or dental abscess, are widely used in winter where infections spread more easily. Also, “it’s because the production of the majority of antibiotics has been relocated to Asia for a few decades, and it falls on us”, according to Dr. Gugon. Faced with this, French laboratories manufacturing antibiotics are called upon to increase their production (which had fallen during the Covid-19 pandemic), and new import solutions should be identified. Even if the tensions are supposed to affect only amoxicillin, the other antibiotics, more prescribed to compensate, should quickly find themselves at risk of shortage too.

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