Therapeutic products

The demand for therapeutic products in Switzerland is largely met by imports. Some product groups, such as antibiotics or insulin preparations, come almost exclusively from abroad.



Therapeutic products platform helped to ease shortages

In 2019 and 2020 there were more than 300 cases of disruptions to the supply of critical medicines that are subject to a reporting obligation. The therapeutic products reporting platform of the national economic supply NES recorded and analysed these disruptions. Several critical situations were eased through early monitoring and the release of compulsory stocks, as stated in a report acknowledged by the Federal Council on 12 May.

A total of 321 supply disruptions were recorded in the reporting years 2019 and 2020. The number of disruption reports increased from 2016 to 2019. This figure decreased by 26% in 2020, dropping from 184 (2019) to 137 (2020). The first wave of COVID-19 in April 2020 saw a massive increase in the number of reports. As the year progressed, however, numbers dropped below the level of the previous year. Possible explanations for this decline stem from the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Press release: Therapeutic products platform helped to ease shortages (in french)

Reporting office for vital human medicines - Report 2019-2020 (in french) (PDF, 1 MB, 12.05.2021)


Over recent years, globalisation has resulted in a concentration of suppliers and production sites worldwide. At the same time, stocks have been reduced at all levels for cost reasons. Medical supply chains have thus become more vulnerable.

The FONES has devised measures both for short-term shortages and supply shortfalls as well as for the event of a pandemic. These include filling gaps in supply (from compulsory stocks) and controlling demand (prioritised distribution, quotas).

The FONES reporting office, which was set up in summer 2015, provides an early warning system for the rapid detection of disruptions in the supply of critical human medicines. Appropriate measures can introduced in good time to counteract the supply shortfalls reported by the health care system.

Additional information

Last modification 18.05.2021

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