The medicines supply chain is complex, with multiple dependencies across sectors, nevertheless it is effective and efficient. Medicines manufacturers are committed to ensuring supply of the medicines that Australians need when they need them.
The impact of significant national crises’ does place pressure on such things as the medicines supply chain, particularly as Australia relies heavily on importation of medicines and domestic manufacturing is limited.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) are currently assessing manufacturing information and engaging with the medicines industry and individual companies to identify products that may be subject to supply disruptions, as well as liaising with regulators in the US, Canada, Europe and UK to gather information about the global supply situation.
Medicines Australia is assisting the Department of Health to identify any potential issues relating to supply of essential medicines and to ensure measures are in place to mitigate any shortages or impacts relating to supply concerns.
In some cases, this could involve leveraging safety stocks of existing medicines, sourcing ingredients from other geographic areas or activating alternative manufacturing facilities.
In the event of potential or actual shortages, this will be communicated at all medical, hospital and pharmacy levels, where there are also plans in place to ensure that a suitable clinical alternatives are found.
Frequently asked questions
We have heard that health professional groups are concerned about the potential for local shortages to be caused by stockpiling.
There is no need for Australians or pharmacies to stockpile medicines. We strongly urge consumers to adhere to their prescribing instructions and to talk to their medical practitioner or pharmacist should they be concerned.
For more information about medicines shortages, please visit https://apps.tga.gov.au/Prod/msi/search?shortagetype=All