Lisbon, 10 Apr 2020 (Lusa) – Infarmed has asked the pharmaceutical industry to increase production of the medicines, most used in the context of the pandemic, by 20% and two in particular, which have not been recommended therapeutically against covid-19, but are in use for the most severe patients.

At the daily press conference at the Direção-Geral da Saúde DGS (The Portuguese Health Authority), Rui Ivo, the president of Infarmed (the National Authority for Medicine and Health Products),  indicated that a request had been made to the pharmaceutical industry to increase the production of medicines as has happened in other European countries and that this request had been reciprocated.

“The increase requested is that for those medicines that can be more used in this context, we increase stocks by 20%. Additionally, we also want to create some strength in terms of strategic and additional reserves, to be stored centrally”, said Rui Ivo.

The president of Infarmed specified that the issue of strengthening the strategic reserve focuses mainly on two drugs, which are for now being used “with caution”, based on the available scientific evidence and associated caution.

The drugs concerned are hydroxychloroquine and the combination of two anti-retrovirals: Lopinavir and Ritonavir.

“We are even making these two drugs available, in a centralised way, according to when the hospitals indicate a need, namely for those that are treating the most serious cases; it is in those cases that they can be used, according to individual requests, as we are talking about drugs that are not approved for these clinical signs. It will always have to be the doctor who takes this initiative.” said Rui Ivo.

The president of Infarmed also referred to a decree issued on Thursday, which aims to avoid unnecessary trips, especially by chronically ill patients to health centres to renew prescriptions, and an exceptional system of electronic prescription and extension of the validity of prescriptions for the duration of the emergency period was created.