Meeting Report Antibiotic Shortages: Magnitude, Causes and Possible Solutions. Norwegian Directorate of Health, Oslo, Norway 10-11 December 2018. Geneva, World Health Organization; 2019
(2019; 12 pages)


The main aim of the meeting, held on 10-11 December 2018 in Oslo, was to enable stakeholders to discuss antibiotic shortages and availability including the magnitude of supply instability, causes, and possible actions to create predictable supply. The meeting sought to address the following questions:

• What are the causes for lack of availability and shortages of antibiotics?

• What are the consequences of antibiotic shortages and supply instability, and what actions are governments currently undertaking to improve availability?

• What are potential short- and long-term solutions?

• How can different stakeholders support the process to mitigate future shortages in antibiotics?

While availability to quality-assured antibiotics is a global challenge, this meeting focused on the specific market failure of predictable supply of older existing antibiotics that have been in shortage over the last years or have low prices and/or modest sales, with the intent to identify potential solutions.

Key issues addressed included: antibiotic demand forecasting; manufacturing; procurement practices; pricing of generic antibiotics; linked and delinked financial reimbursement models; pooled procurement models; regulatory challenges and opportunities; the benefits and disadvantages of local production; and, to some extent, the economic and societal impact of shortages.

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