Demands for emergency government measures due to bottlenecks in children's medicines

A wave of respiratory diseases is currently affecting children.

Demands for emergency government measures due to bottlenecks in children's medicines

A wave of respiratory diseases is currently affecting children. According to Fischbach, this leads to a very high demand for antipyretic drugs such as ibuprofen or paracetamol. Fischbach reported on "desperate parents" in the practices. "There are too few suppliers of such agents because the fixed price regulation has led to a migration of production to low-wage countries such as India and China," he said. There are now supply chain problems there, which in turn lead to supply bottlenecks.

The association president criticized the plans for legislative changes presented by Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) as coming too late. "We now need a procurement campaign pushed by politicians in order to get fever juice, certain antibiotics and other preparations for small children that have become rare in an emergency, as was the case at the beginning of the corona pandemic."

The CDU health politician Sorge also called for a state offensive to buy children's medicines. "Before the end of the year there must be a procurement summit by the federal and state governments, in which immediate measures for this winter will be coordinated," said the health policy spokesman for the Union faction of the news portal t-online. The Minister of Health must coordinate with countries, manufacturers and wholesalers "as soon as possible", also try to make transitional deliveries to neighboring countries and set up a planning and procurement team as quickly as possible.

Lauterbach reiterated that action is being taken against delivery bottlenecks for medicines not only for children. A corresponding legislative initiative is to be presented next week, which will deal with short-term measures. He also promised support for the sometimes overcrowded pediatric practices and children's wards in clinics. The budgets would be suspended, additional services for paediatricians would be paid for.

If the measures are not sufficient, planned interventions for adults could be suspended in order to ensure the care of children. "We will not allow the children who gave up so much in the pandemic not to get the care they need now," said Lauterbach in Berlin.

Due to the high workload in pediatric practices, the Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) extended the period for the preventive medical check-ups U6 to U9 for one to six-year-old children. The postponed early detection examinations can be made up for by June 30 next year.

Fischbach sees the strict measures taken during the corona pandemic as a main reason for the current wave of illnesses. "Up to the age of two, around 80 percent of children have normally had contact with the RS virus," he told the "Bild" newspaper. Because of the contact bans and masks, this did not happen. "As a result, entire cohorts have accumulated and are now falling ill in droves." This is particularly dangerous for small children, and even life-threatening for premature and pre-ill children.