“Our medicine chain is too dependent on China”

Did you ever hear at the pharmacy last year that your medicine was used up? Then you were certainly not the only one. Almost 800 times there was a shortage of a drug.

That didn't always mean you went home empty-handed. Six times it was really over, but often there was an alternative available. But still, a drug from another brand can have unpleasant side effects. Even if the active substance is the same.

This was the case last year, for example, with the most commonly used contraceptive pill. A large party did not meet the quality requirements for the pill. And because other companies also had delivery problems at the same time, it was no longer available.

Depends on China

Professor of Medical Microbiology Heiman Wertheim of Radboudumc is critical of the way in which medicines are made. “The drug production process is very fragile,” he says. “For some antibiotics there are only a few factories that produce the active substances. That makes us too dependent.”

Almost all of those factories are located in China or India, and according to Wertheim that is not a good thing: “If a load is rejected or another problem arises in a factory, there is soon a shortage. It is about the safety of the population and I therefore find it strange that we make ourselves so dependent on a country for our medicines. “

Discover in the interactive below how this dependence can work through to your medicine cabinet:

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