After a very long period in 2018 without being able to buy birth control pills due to a situation that was nothing short of a clusterfuck, there’s a looming shortage of medical devices waiting to happen in a few months and it seems many people are going to watch it happen.
Due to newer and stricter European rules that will apply as of May 26, thousands of medical devices people depend on will not be re-approved on time, causing a severe shortage of things like breast implants, artificial hips, knee prostheses, and pacemakers, putting healthcare at risk.
“Manufacturers draw their own line and do not indicate where the problems are. As well, manufacturers blame the inspection authorities. In the end, the patient may become the victim.” explains Ad Melkert of the Dutch Hospitals Association. In the Netherlands Melkert is synonymous with ‘Melkert jobs’, make-work projects that were meant to provide certain social classes with ‘busy work’.
“The products need a lot of certifications and there are too few organizations that can deliver that,” explains Erik Vollebregt of Amsterdam law firm Axon, representing medical companies struggling with the regulations. “Smaller manufacturers in particular are the victims. Large manufacturers are given priority over the small ones. It leads to preferential treatment for manufacturers who are willing to pay more for timely approval.”
I think the victims will be people, but what do I know.