Medication emergency in Germany – Two-thirds are sure: politicians are not doing enough

Medication emergency in Germany – Two-thirds are sure: politicians are not doing enough

  • A representative survey commissioned by the pharmaceutical logistics specialist trans-o-flex Express: quality standards in medicine transport should be better checked. 

Weinheim, 13 February 2023. There is a shortage of medicines such as insulin for diabetics, antibiotics, antipyretics, and in some cases even medicines for cancer patients – Germany is in a state of emergency. Some 62% of Germans believe that politicians are not doing enough to address the shortage. These were the findings of a representative INSA survey commissioned by trans-o-flex Expressdienst, which specialises in logistics for pharmaceuticals and other sensitive goods. The opinion that politicians should be doing more to address the shortage is clearly more strongly held by women (68%) than by men (56%). Older people see politicians as much more responsible than younger people (72% versus 49%).

Correct storage and safe transport are important

When it comes to purchasing medicines, Germans have become much more flexible. The absolute majority of 72% still obtain their medicines from over-the-counter pharmacies. However, about one fifth (21%) already order online. And the trust is there: around two-thirds of Germans (58%) have hardly any reservations about ordering medicines from an online pharmacy.

However: almost a quarter are unsure whether the quality of medicines in online pharmacies is as good as in over-the-counter pharmacies. In fact, several factors play a decisive role here.

“The correct storage, as well as the temperature-regulated and appropriate transport of medicines, is an important factor for their quality and efficacy,” says Wolfgang P. Albeck, CEO of the specialist logistics company trans-o-flex.

Medication transport: traceable quality and stricter monitoring are called for

For the respondents, improvements are needed to guarantee the safe transport of sensitive medicines. Today, only 45% believe that the path taken by medicines from the warehouse to the customer is monitored (at least) as strictly as that taken by foodstuffs. Yet 92% (cumulatively) consider precisely this to be important. Among women, the figure is as high as 94% (men 88%). An absolute majority (52%) is in favour of introducing standards that increase quality in the mail order business and also make it visible.

“To date, there are hardly any uniform, monitored quality standards, norms and the corresponding quality seals for the storage and transport of medicines,” says Albeck. “There is an urgent need for action, and politicians are particularly challenged here. For consumers, these standards must be completely transparent so that no one takes a medicine that is less effective or not effective at all due to improper storage or poor transport standards.”

About the survey: For this representative survey, a total of 1,002 people from Germany aged 18 and over were surveyed on 13 January 2023. The survey was conducted online. The survey is supported by the regular telephone survey INSA Perpetua Demoscopia.


Receive regular exclusive information on current trends, strategic know-how, news on IT solutions, transport and logistics services and our commitment to sustainability. Transparent, simple and fast. You can only subscribe to the newsletter in German. No English-language newsletter is currently available.