Medicines shortages

NMVO informs about the reasons of some medicines unavailability


Not only the Czech Republic, but also other EU countries, and even the USA, are facing a shortage of medicines, often as early as November 2022. The Minister of Health, Professor Vlastimil Válek, called a press conference on the current situation on 8/22/2023; the issue was explained here to the media, but above all the Minister promised to solve the problem with shortages of important antibiotics, especially V penicillin in tablets and in suspension.

In a press release, the Ministry of Health states the plans to include the delivery of more than 130 thousand packages of penicillin in tablets or suspension by the beginning of October 2023 and another 170 thousand packages by the first half of November 2023.


National Medicines Verification Organization (NMVO) would like to highlight that the unavailability of medicines does not arise because of their verification.

There are several causes of medicines shortages. Two main reasons can be attributed to the increased demand and consumption of medicines at a time of increased incidence of respiratory infections after the covid-19 pandemic, when social contacts were limited and exposure to common pathogens decreased. The second is insufficient production capacity for the basic raw material, which does not allow an immediate increase in production volume.

As Minister Válek stated, there is no legal possibility for the ministry or the government to directly purchase medicines from the manufacturer (marketing authorization holder) and provide them to pharmacies and hospitals.

Medicines can reach the patient only through a legal distribution chain, which is supported by a unique identifier (2D code) on each package and which is assigned to a specific package of the medicinal product at the factory. With the help of the 2D code, the entire path of the drug through the distributor to the end users (distributors, pharmacies) can be tracked. Thus, during the unavailability of certain medicines, the EU market is protected from the entry of falsified medicines.


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