French people cross the border to find medicines and antibiotics in Italy

In France, the shortage of paracetamol and amoxicillin continues, but Italy does not seem to be affected by this shortage of drugs. Why such a situation ? We tell you why.

The drug shortage problem is global. Winter ailments, which had fallen sharply with the confinements, are back on a scale that had not been foreseen by the laboratories.

France, Spain, Australia and the United States have sounded the alarm, particularly for pediatric forms.

Tensions that could last, warned the Minister of Health François Braun, Thursday January 5, according to whom it will still be necessary “two months to be really quiet and have our stocks replenished”.

However, there is a country that does not experience the same tensions: Italy.

From Menton, the Italian border is only a few kilometers away. First observation in a pharmacy in Ventimiglia: the medicine drawers are well filled.

Anna Maria Quaglia, manager of the pharmacy, has of course heard about the lack of certain medicines on the French side. But in Italy, the shortage of paracetamol is not relevant.

Here, paracetamol has another name: “tachipirina”. The pharmacist even claims to have anticipated the influx of requests from French customers, so she stocked up:

We have a lot of French people who come here to buy these drugs, we know that it’s tense in your country, but here we really have stocks.

Anna Maria Quaglia, manager of a pharmacy in Ventimiglia.

A godsend for French customers who only have to cross the border to get their supplies.

Since the supply chains are not the same, this same pharmacy can thus offer for sale what has become difficult to find here.

Another example with amoxicillin (also called Augmentin), an antibiotic in great tension in France, hasHere again there are sufficient quantities on the shelves.

A reality that surprises the French cross-border workers crossed in the streets of Ventimiglia.

“Paracetamol, from the moment you can’t find a basic drug or an antibiotic, you have to cross the border 50 km away, it’s extremely serious!”

Another Frenchman adds: “it’s true that it’s hard to find in France, it’s clear that we’ll buy the medicine where we can find it”.

Be careful, buying medicines in Italy is often more expensive than in France.

But if they are on prescription, French social security must logically reimburse them.

In the meantime, the GSK factory in Mayenne is doubling down on shortages in its laboratory in western France.
The factory, whose production rate had declined at the height of the pandemic, is once again operating at maximum capacity. The 370 employees take turns day and night, five days a week.

For its part, the French National Medicines Safety Agency authorized the manufacture of amoxicillin directly by certain pharmacists a few days ago.

A local remedy in the face of supply difficulties and ongoing epidemics.

(With L. Meney and AFP)

French people cross the border to find medicines and antibiotics in Italy