Minister raises fine for drugs firms which create shortages 20-fold


Dutch health minister Edith Schippers said on Thursday she plans to increase the fine payable by pharmaceutical companies which deliberately cause shortages of medicine to €820,000.

Currently, the maximum fine for drugs firms which create shortages is €45,000. Drugs firms with a trading licence can be fined if they fail to ensure sufficient supplies and report potential shortages on time.

The decision follows last year’s crisis over the drug Thyrax which disappeared from pharmacy shelves after production was shifted from Oss in the Netherlands to Germany.

Tens of thousands of people who take the drug were forced to use an alternative while stocks were replenished.

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