Public event

Workshop on the causes and consequences of medicine shortages

Despite national, European and global efforts to ensure adequate and timely access to medicines, shortages of medicines are a widespread phenomenon around the world and have serious consequences for patients and healthcare systems. As early as 2016, the WHO formulated recommendations to combat such bottlenecks. A pharmaceutical strategy was adopted at the European level in 2020 and most recently at the level of the German government in December 2023.

We want to dedicate ourselves to the topic with a workshop and discuss global causes and solutions with representatives from science, politics and industry. The workshop is organised by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the Hertie School in cooperation with the University of Duisburg-Essen and the Federation of German Industries. With topics ranging from the economics of the pharmaceutical industry to data transparency and effective monitoring, attendees can expect to engage in academic breakout sessions, panel discussions, and networking opportunities, aimed at

  • exchanging latest research findings surrounding medicine shortages and offering impetus for future research agendas;
  • fostering conversations between academics, industry representatives and policy makers to develop actionable approaches to tackle medicine shortages; and
  • discussing recent EU-specific and global policy developments.

You are cordially invited to participate on 20 and 21 February 2024 at the Academy of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Tiergartenstr. 35, 10785 Berlin.

Event concept:

The workshop is divided into two parts:

  • Scientific event: The initial 1.5 days are dedicated to professional and scientific exchange in the form of a closed workshop.
  • Public event: The workshop will conclude with a public event to foster exchange between science, politics, and industry.

The workshop is free of charge and will be held in English. Simultaneous translation (D-ENG/ ENG-D) will be offered during the public part.


Registration is required.

Participation in the scientific part of the workshop is limited to 40 people, and spots will be allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis. The public session will be open to a broader audience.

Program highlights:

Day I: Tuesday, 20 February 2024 - Interdisciplinary Perspectives and Policy Implications

11:30 – 12:30 Registration and Coffee
12:30 – 13:30  Lunch
13:30 – 13:45 Opening Remarks and Welcome
13:45 – 15.15 Academic session I (2 presentations, 45min each incl. Q&A)

  • Eva Goetjes – “Examining Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Resilience, Global Dependency and Competition – a Regression Discontinuity Approach”
  • Philippe Gorry – “Statistical Analysis Of Drug Shortage In France In The Wake Of The Covid Crisis“

15:15 – 15:30 Coffee break
15:30 – 17:00 Academic session II (2 presentations, 45min each incl. Q&A)

  • Ivan Lugovoi – “Changing Standards and Drug Shortages in the Pharmaceutical Industry”
  • Jean-Christophe Spiliotis-Saquet – “The effect of EU patent rules on antibiotic innovation: Insights from economic theory”

17:05 – 17:50 Panel Discussion I: Financial incentives, regulation, and the role of the government in addressing global medicine shortages

  • Ana Paula Martins, former President of the Order of Pharmacies in Portugal
  • Sean Lybrand, Executive Director, Access to Healthcare, Amgen
  • Leonie Völker, Senior Manager in Government Affairs Supply Chain, Technical Operations and Risk, Johnson & Johnson
  • Harm Veerkamp, Director of procurement of medicines for LMICs, IDA Foundation
  • Moderation: Prof. Dr. Mujaheed Shaikh, Hertie School

18:30 Joint Dinner

Day II: Wednesday, 21 February 2024 - Reporting Structures and Data Transparency

09:30 – 10:00 Coffee And Networking
10:00 – 11:30 Academic session III (2 presentations, 45min each incl. Q&A)

  • Richard Abbasi – “Substitution preferences during drug shortages: Evidence from the Migraine medication market”
  • Jan Panhuysen – “Utilizing medicine switching to assess the consequences of medicine shortages for patients, providers, and payers of healthcare”

11:30 – 12:30 Panel Discussion II: Importance of data (transparency) in addressing Medicine Shortages and Designing Effective Reporting Structures

  • Enea Martinelli, and Kantonsspital Interlaken
  • Prof. Dr. Martin Spindler, Data Science, Statistics & Econometrics, University of Hamburg
  • Benjamin Birkner, Senior Manager Data Science, GWQ ServicePlus AG
  • Moderation: Prof. Dr. Katharina Blankart, University of Duisburg-Essen and Bern University of Applied Sciences

12:30 – 13:30 Lunch
13:30 – 14:15 Academic Keynote (incl. Q&A): Patrick Gaule, Associate Professor in Economics, University of Bristol
14:30 – 15:15 Academic session IV (1 presentation, incl. Q&A): Abigail Chari – “Malaria prophylaxis stockouts and maternal and birth outcomes in Zimbabwe” (Online)
15:15 – 15:45 Closing remarks and coffee (academic)

Public session

16:00 – 16.15 Welcome Keynote Hermann Gröhe, Member of parliament, and former Minister of Health 
16:15 – 16:35 DFG project insights and study results
16:35 – 17:20 Panel Discussion: European and international strategies for greater resilience in the supply of medicines

  • Dr. Georg Kippels, Member of the German Bundestag
  • Prof. Dr. Karl Broich, President, Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (tbc)
  • Iris Plöger, Head of Department for Digitalization, Innovation and Health Economics
  • Ines Prainsack-Ward, Member of the Cabinet of the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety (via Video)
  • Moderation: Prof. Dr. Katharina Blankart, University of Duisburg-Essen

17:20 – 18:05 Panel Discussion: International perspectives on security of medicine supplies

  • Vanessa Peberdy, Deputy Director Health Progress, IFPMA
  • Eleni Katsis, Senior Manager of Corporate Engagement, Direct Relief
  • Kirti Narsai, Principal Researcher, University of Cape Town
  • Moderation: Lukas Lingenthal, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung

18:05 – 20:00 Closing remarks + Reception