Shortages ‘a global phenomenon’ while in South Africa some widely used essential drugs are out of stock The Department of Health is set to fly in an emergency stock of 20 key medicines from global suppliers to fill the gap while pharmaceutical manufacturers, unable to fulfil contracts, resolve their issues, it emerged on Sunday.The department inadvertently prompted an outcry last month after it published a list of medicines that were out of stock on its website. Although this is common practice in other countries, to alert doctors and suggest alternative products, publication of the list here triggered anxiety among patients. The list has since been removed.On Friday, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi convened an urgent meeting with pharmaceutical manufacturers, the Medicines Control Council, the provinces health MECs and heads of health departments to establish the scale of the problem, the reasons for the stockouts, and how long it would take manufacturers to fulfil orders.The depa...

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