Faced with the current shortage of paracetamol, the government wants to increase production on national soil, but this would necessarily mean an increase in price.
One of the few paracetamol plants in France, in Agen (Lot-et-Garonne), produced 265 million boxes in 2022. “We are on a production line of Efferalgan and Dafalgan that runs at full capacity, seven days a week and 24 hours a day,” explains Christophe Roberge, director of the UPSA site. Faced with the shortage of the drug, the government wants to increase production, yet the problem is the price for laboratories, strictly controlled by the state. For a box of eight 1,000 mg tablets, the company gets 0.76 euros, the brands do not find themselves there.
A mistake for economists
To secure production, the Minister of Industry plans discussions with the pharmaceutical giants. “We will set up a mission to review the process of setting the price of drugs. We need to reindustrialize France’s health sector,” said Roland Lescure, Minister Delegate for Industry. However, increasing the price of drugs is a mistake for economists, because “it will weigh on households in the end, either in terms of taxation or in terms of social contributions”, according to Nathalie Coutinet, health economist.