CISMED: Future plans for scaling up the information on medicine shortages at supranational level

DigitalHealthEurope twinning partners of CISMED share future plans beyond the twinning timeframe.

CISMED (Centre for Information on the Supply of Medicines) is a pharmacy-based information system which reports the unavailability of medicines automatically and in real time at the patient level and triggers market signals to anticipate and prevent shortages.

In the context of the DigitalHealthEurope twinning, the General Pharmaceutical Council of Spain served as the originator and led the twinning by sharing CISMED as an innovative practice to predict and mitigate shortages. This twinning served as a starting point for the exchange of knowledge with the following adopting partner countries:

The main outcome of the twinning is that it confirmed that it was possible to exchange information on medicines shortages among the four involved countries. The results of this exchange draw valuable information for competent authorities, as supported by the Spanish Medicines Agency. Furthermore, the twinning partners issued recommendations for an effective information system on shortages at supranational level and gave an overview of the medication availability in four countries (Portugal, France, Italy and Spain).

Future plans will be the technical implementation of an information system for pharmacy-based reporting shortages at European level and to raise further awareness of the value of such a system, so more national systems can be developed for this purpose. For implementation, the project will be open to all EU countries.

Another valuable aspect is to integrate the information coming from other stakeholders, wholesalers and the pharmaceutical industry. This way, the prediction capability of the system will be reinforced and it will better predict when supply shortages may arise and when normal supply can be resumed. At national level, the General Pharmaceutical Council of Spain is already working to intertwine the other stakeholders’ information with CISMED.

A further plan of action is to unleash the full potential of the system and further enhance the prediction capacity of the tool using AI. Finally, future plans include the integration of information on shortages into the electronic prescription systems so doctors are aware of the availability of medicine at the time of prescribing and can look for alternatives in case medicine is in shortage.

For more details on the DHE twinning CISMED click here.