Asia News China Economy Featured News

Czech intelligence: China is a ‘medicines’ threat too

China threatens European security and stability at many levels, now including even medicines, said Director of the Czech Security Information Service Michal Koudelka, adding that politicians, in particular, should not repeat the same mistake of downplaying security alerts like in the case of Russia in the past.

According to the Czech intelligence chief, the Chinese emerging medicines threat is due to the massive production of medicines in the country.

“We cannot even imagine what would happen if China stopped producing medicines for Europe as a result of an international crisis or conflict,” Koudelka warned during a conference organised in the Czech parliament.

In March, the European Commission is expected to present the much-awaited EU Pharmaceutical Strategy, which will try to restore pharmaceutical manufacturing in Europe.

Europe is currently facing a shortage of antibiotics and other drugs, causing EU governments and patients big headaches. One of the reasons behind the crisis is the interruption of the supply of medicines from China, the Czech Chamber of Pharmacists recently said.

Especially last month, painkillers and drugs against fever (anything containing Paracetamol or Ibuprofen) and antibiotics were in short supply in pharmacies, and children’s medicines were particularly scarce.

French government spokesman Olivier Véran told EURACTIV France last month that it’s an absolute necessity for Paris to relocate pharmaceutical industries to produce drugs.

“One of the lessons of the crisis is that Europe cannot remain 95% dependent on a few Asian countries regarding access to medicines,” he said.

Source : Euractiv