Europe's self-care industry is working around the clock to mitgate the impact of the coronavirus and ensure the supply of crucial OTC medicines to consumers, according to the Association of the European Self-Care Industry, the AESGP.
"Self-care companies in Europe and globally continue to prioritize the continuity of their supply chains and are working proactively to prevent and mitigate any potential shortages through close coordination with the European Union’s Human Medicines Regulators Network and European Union institutions," the AESGP told HBW Insight.
"Member companies have not reported any shortages or delays in production in the short term" - the AESGP reports.
"At this stage, AESGP member companies have not reported any shortages or delays in production in the short term," the association continued. "However, the situation is evolving very rapidly and AESGP is working closely with its members to continuously monitor the situation and to foster pragmatic solutions and pan-European cooperation to ensure the supply of self-care products to healthcare systems."
The AESGP said it was also working closely with regulators to manage the "unique challenges" caused by the Covid‐19 pandemic.
Echoing calls by generics industry association Medicines for Europe for the creation of transport "green lanes" to expedite the flow of medicines and their ingredients across national borders, the association urged EU regulators to make sure trucks carrying medicines and medical devices were "among other priority products such as food at the border control points."
The AESGP also said it had been participating in weekly calls with the European Medicines Agency, the EU’s Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides and Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton, along with representatives from across the medicines and medical devices supply chain to discuss the potential impact of the coronavirus on the supply of vaccines, medicines and medical devices.
The AESGP recently cancelled its Annual Meeting scheduled for 26-28 May in Milan, Italy – a country at the epicenter of the virus in Europe. (Also see "AESGP Annual Meeting Cancelled Due To Coronavirus Concerns" - HBW Insight, 13 Mar, 2020.)
The AESGP’s director general Jūratė Švarcaitė said that the decision was the most sensible given the “extremely challenging time of Covid-19, whose status recently changed from 'outbreak' to 'pandemic.'”
“I am certain many of us will be disappointed as our annual meetings are highly anticipated and provide a unique opportunity to build valuable relationships, extend influence and stay ahead of trends,” she told HBW Insight. “AESGP’s primary concern is the safety of speakers, members, staff and other participants along with all investments that all have made to be present.”
In a recent statement, the AESGP also pointed to the importance of self-care in preventing infection with the coronavirus, for example "taking food supplements like vitamins and minerals to prevent shortcomings of diets and provide balanced nutrient range."