For almost six weeks there is no fever water for children in the pharmacies of the Palatinate. And there is no end in sight, states the Association of Pharmacists of Rhineland-Palatinate.
Elke Koch-Böhn, owner of the Robert Koch pharmacy in Ludwigshafen, is furious. He sees it as a disaster that in a country like Germany there is no medicine for pain and fever for small children. Of course, the shortages have economic reasons, but the victims are children. “We often have clients on night shift who come straight from the hospital to get fever sugar,” says the pharmacist. “When I tell them we don’t have one, they hardly believe me!”
As reported by the German Pharmaceutical Association ABDA, fever juice is especially popular among parents of sick children because they can be swallowed by children without problems.
Despite the Corona wave: the market for ibuprofen water is wet
The market for ibuprofen or paracetamol was “developed”. The pharmacist explains that nothing can be achieved as much as Frankfurt. Only a few pharmacies still have a few stocks left. The Association of Pharmacists of Rhineland-Palatinate also confirms the strict reduction of fever water for children. Peter Schreiber, director of the association in Mainz, told SWR that the situation has worsened. And this lack of medicine is different from the previous ones. With other drugs you can often switch to other manufacturers, this is not the case with children’s fever water.
Ibuprofen Water: Raw materials for production are scarce
According to the association, health insurance companies really only have a contract with one manufacturer – the cheapest one. It produces in China and India and there are problems in obtaining raw materials for the production of hot water. According to Peter Schreiber, both ibuprofen and paracetamol juice are hard to come by. The delivery problem is not only nationwide, but even across Europe and is causing great uncertainty among customers.
Why is there less hot water?
In addition to the shortage of raw materials, the discount contracts of health insurances also lead to the shortage of children’s fever water. According to the Association of Pharmacists of Rhineland-Palatinate, such contracts are only concluded with very cheap manufacturers. This will push other producers out of the market who have produced these drinks so far. According to Peter Schreiber, Managing Director of the Pharmaceutical Association of Rhineland-Palatinate, these competitors have stopped producing the juice because it is not economically viable for them. If customers then start collecting drinking water with an existing shortage, they will not receive drinking water again, according to the association.
There is no production in Germany
Pharmacist Dr. Klaus Peter Trimborn of the Nibelungen pharmacy in Ludwigshafen felt it every day. “Customers don’t understand the shortage and think we’re incompetent. The whole thing is very annoying,” explains the doctor and former clinic pharmacist who tries to get the juice in every way, trying to buy it himself through internet pharmacies or order it directly from the manufacturer – the effort is too great with very little success, says the pharmacist from Ludwigshafen.
Produce drinking water yourself in Ludwigshafen – very complicated and very expensive
His pharmacy does not produce its own milk. It’s just too complicated and too expensive. Health insurance companies don’t cover it. And access to raw materials is also difficult. Drinking water must be preserved and it must be ensured that no bacterial contamination occurs during production – a complex task.
The Federal Institute of Medicine currently only plans to produce drinking water in pharmacies in individual cases. The Institute explains the shortfall in 2022 with an extraordinary request, which cannot be explained. Only if this deficiency is not resolved in the foreseeable future will there be a proposal for large-scale production of drinking water in pharmacies. However, this proposal has not yet been made. For children, fever will remain low for now.
The pharmacist recommends Landau: suppositories instead of fever syrup
But what to do if the baby has a fever? As Markus Moser of Adler Apotheke in Landau explains, there are alternatives – in the form of suppositories. As an alternative to medication, there is also the option of applying warm compresses or washes to your forehead and drinking plenty of water.