The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Swiss hospitals facing a drug shortage

  • By Paige Baschuk
  • 22 August 2022

How Switzerland will survive a tough winter, cannabis trials will launch and more in our roundup of Swiss news from August 15 -22.

Swiss hospitals facing a drug shortage

While many of the dwindling drugs are older or related to addiction therapy, even children’s cough syrups are difficult to find.

Switzerland faces drug shortage

Despite being the home to many major pharmaceutical companies, Swiss hospitals are having trouble getting much-needed drugs to their patients this year. “The situation with the supply of medicines has been continuously deteriorating since the start of June,” chief pharmacist for the FMI hospital group in Bern, Enea Martinelli, told NZZ am Sonntag Sunday. Most of the shortages are affecting older drugs that are no longer profitable for companies to make; but, even Ibuprofen cold medicines for children are dwindling. The compound effect has many Swiss hospitals researching how they can make some medicines in-house. A group of medical experts and government officials have begun working on a plan to secure drugs for Swiss patients; their plan will be ready by the end of the year. Read more.

In the land of pharma, why the Swiss turn to natural meds

Swiss reserve power plants may be used this winter

Swiss officials will begin negotiations over using its reserve power plants in an effort to avoid power outages this winter, government officials announced this week. The proposed plan involves using more than 300 megawatts from the reserve plants. The country would begin using them no later than February 2023, an official statement read. Negotiations over using existing emergency generators as back-up power plants – or as a means to increase the voltage of the Bassecourt-Muehleberg and the Bickigen-Chippis transmission lines – are already underway. Read more.

Switzerland cannabis trials launch

A long-awaited trial into legally selling cannabis in Switzerland will begin in mid-September, according to officials from Basel-Stadt region. About 400 participants are enrolled in the Weed Care study, which will begin on September 15. Participants will be able to purchase and use six different cannabinoid products through nine pharmacies in the study – the prices will be comparable to what is being sold on the black market. “The scientific knowledge gained from this provides a basis for discussion for a future responsible cannabis policy,” Basel officials said. Other, similar trials are set to launch this fall in Bern, Geneva and Zürich. Read more.

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