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Swiss pharma industry wants to reduce dependence on Asia

Swiss chemists are running low on some medication Keystone / Expa/ Stefanie Oberhauser

The Swiss pharmaceutical industry should be less dependent on active ingredients from Asia, says the president of the industry umbrella organisation, pharmaSuisse. Martine Ruggli has called for new drug companies to be built in Europe.

If a drug runs out in Switzerland, it’s not available in the whole of Europe “in an extreme situation like the present one”, she said. With Europe, Switzerland must now prepare for the future, Ruggli said in an interview with newspaper Blick on Monday.

She pointed out that the only European company for antibiotics, for example, is in Austria. Building up new locations would take time, she said, but was possible. “Sources need to be diversified.”

Enea Martinelli, a hospital pharmacist and pharmaSuisse board member, said in November that the biggest problem was children’s medications, especially fever-reducing syrup, as well as blood pressure medications, psychiatric medications and Parkinson’s medications. Painkillers are also a problem.

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