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The agency’s solidarity mechanism allows Member States to support each other when there is a shortage of a critical medicines.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced on Oct. 24, 2023 that its Medicines Shortages Steering Group (MSSG) has developed a voluntary solidarity mechanism that allows European Union Members States to support each other during drug shortages. The mechanism was based on a plan set up during the COVID-19 pandemic and can only be used under limited conditions. It is a last resort to be used after Member States have exhausted other possibilities.
EU Member States may request assistance in obtaining medicine stocks from other member states if they face a critical shortage that has been escalated to the MSSG for coordination at European level. The mechanism is part of other shortages actions the MSSG can carry out and is part of the MSSG Toolkit, which includes recommendations for monitoring drug supplies. The mechanism and toolkit are part of actions the European Commission is taking to protect the EU from drug shortages.