Following the coronavirus epidemic (COVID-19), experts at FAMHP are actively monitoring the potential impact on the availability of medication and medical devices in Belgium. The FAMHP is also supporting the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in developing COVID-19 vaccines.
Risks of unavailability of medication due to the coronavirus
Many medicines, active substances and pharmaceutical ingredients are produced in China and the closure of factories and transport networks due to the coronavirus epidemic (COVID-19) is affecting China’s manufacturing capacity and the stability of supply of these ingredients abroad.
The AFMPS experts have contacted pharmaceutical firms to determine the impact this situation could have on the availability of medication in Belgium. The analysis is in progress. Currently, no shortage of medication is expected in Belgium due to COVID-19.
The FAMHP has also raised awareness among pharmaceutical firms to ensure any unavailability is notified, as required by law.
At European level, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has not been notified of any non-availability of medication due to the COVID-19 epidemic. The EMA is closely monitoring the situation in cooperation with the various competent authorities in the Member States.
Risks of unavailability of medical devices (masks, gloves, etc.)
The FAMHP reminds everyone that wearing face masks in public places does not currently provide any extra protection against COVID-19. The use of face masks to prevent infection with COVID-19 is only advised in hospitals where patients contaminated with COVID-19 are being treated and in laboratories conducting screening tests.
The FAMHP does not have full traceability of medical devices such as masks, gloves ... and cannot currently assess the market situation.
As announced by the Federal Public Service for Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment, Belgium is participating in a joint European arrangement to purchase face masks and other protective equipment to combat COVID-19.
To contribute to the global response to the appearance of infections from the novel coronavirus, EMA is taking concrete measures to fast-track the development and availability of medicines to treat and prevent COVID-19.
The FAMHP is supporting the ongoing research and will actively collaborate with EMA and other European authorities with competence for public health and medicines.
Recommendations of the Federal Public Service for Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment
The monitoring of COVID-19 in Belgium is coordinated by the Federal Public Service for Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment. A special website contains all the information on COVID-19 and is regularly updated: https://www.info-coronavirus.be/en/.
Healthcare professionals can consult the Sciensano website.
If you have any questions, you can contact the Federal Public Service for Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0800 14 689.