Sunday, September 17, 2017

Medicines Shortages - European Commission eCOST Research Network - Action CA15105


eCOST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) is the longest-running European framework supporting trans-national cooperation among researchers, engineers and scholars across Europe.

European Medicines Shortages Research Network - addressing supply problems to patients (Medicines Shortages) 

The problems created by supply shortages of medicines have been widely reported by healthcare professionals and patients over recent years, and acknowledged at the European level by the European Medicines Agency and European Commission. The cited causes are multifaceted ranging from production disruptions, natural disasters, discontinuations as well as difficulties created by various legal, trade and pricing frameworks. Healthcare professionals require access to reliable and up-to-date information about the unavailability of a medicine in order that they can treat the patient in the best way possible. The significant patient impact because of the lack of medication, in terms of safety and management of their condition, will be researched. In addition the forced substitution to an alternative product or requirement to produce a medicine may increase the risk of error, stress and overall cost to the healthcare system. According to the largest pan-European survey of healthcare professionals yet conducted on the topic, the products mainly affected in the European hospital sector are antimicrobials and oncology products used for large populations. This Action will encourage systematic sharing of information and research about past, ongoing and future shortages of medicines and nutritional products. The Action aims to respond to clinical, financial and quality of life interests, to achieve analytical clarity on disruption causes, to simulate decision making in medicines production and trade, to highlight restrictive legal and economic frameworks, to disclose disincentives in the supply chain such as conflicts of interest or problematic cost-benefit ratios, and to reflect on best coping practices.




It is a unique means for them to jointly develop their own ideas and new initiatives across all fields in science and technology, including social sciences and humanities, through pan-European networking of nationally funded research activities. Based on a European intergovernmental framework for cooperation in science and technology, COST has been contributing - since its creation in 1971 - to closing the gap between science, policy makers and society throughout Europe and beyond. As a precursor of advanced multidisciplinary research, COST plays a very important role in building a European Research Area (ERA).

It anticipates and complements the activities of the EU Framework Programmes, constituting a “bridge” towards the scientific communities of COST Inclusiveness Target Countries. It also increases the mobility of researchers across Europe and fosters the establishment of scientific excellence.The problems created by supply shortages of medicines have been widely reported by healthcare professionals and patients over recent years, and acknowledged at the European level by the European Medicines Agency and European Commission. The cited causes are multifaceted ranging from production disruptions, natural disasters, discontinuations as well as difficulties created by various legal, trade and pricing frameworks.

Healthcare professionals require access to reliable and up-to-date information about the unavailability of a medicine in order that they can treat the patient in the best way possible. The significant patient impact because of the lack of medication, in terms of safety and management of their condition, will be researched. In addition the forced substitution to an alternative product or requirement to produce a medicine may increase the risk of error, stress and overall cost to the healthcare system. According to the largest pan-European survey of healthcare professionals yet conducted on the topic, the products mainly affected in the European hospital sector are antimicrobials and oncology products used for large populations.


This Action will encourage systematic sharing of information and research about past, ongoing and future shortages of medicines and nutritional products. The Action aims to respond to clinical, financial and quality of life interests, to achieve analytical clarity on disruption causes, to simulate decision making in medicines production and trade, to highlight restrictive legal and economic frameworks, to disclose disincentives in the supply chain such as conflicts of interest or problematic cost-benefit ratios, and to reflect on best coping practices.


Related links




  • COST brochure on ISSU
  • Horizon 2020
  • FET - Future and Emerging Technologies 
  • Why European Research?
  • European Research Area (ERA)
  • Research at the European Commission

  • Sources

    COST network

    http://www.cost.eu/COST_Actions/ca/CA15105