Paracetamol and antibiotics shortages in Alpes-Maritimes during peak season

Stocks of paracetamol and antibiotics, particularly those prescribed for children, are running dangerously low this winter in the Alpes-Maritimes.

Infections, flu, coughs and colds are hallmarks of the winter season. People tend to be indoors more, giving germs a chance to spread more easily than in the warmer times of the year. Most of the seasonal illnesses floating around can be handled simply, with a quick course of medicine doing the trick, but this year, it is being reported there is a real shortage of basic drugs in the Alpes-Maritimes.

The biggest concern lies in the lack of medicines, notably antibiotics, for children.

“For over a month, we have had a lot of problems obtaining and getting deliveries of medicines and antibiotics, especially for children,” pharmacist Alice Marty told France 3 this week. “Syrups pose a lot of worries. We very regularly have doctors on the phone to see which antibiotics they can prescribe, to find out which ones are available with us, so they can treat patients as well as possible.”

Pharmacists are being forced to spend hours on the phone every day, calling suppliers to try and find stock, taking them away from the job of helping the sick.

“It’s an everyday job to call suppliers, we spend energy in our explanations to patients [and] prescribers,” says Raphaël Gilgiotti, pharmacist and secretary of the Regional Union of Health Professionals as well as co-president of the pharmacists’ union of the Alpes-Maritimes. “There are pharmacists in Nice who no longer have Doliprane syrup at the moment. Anti-cough treatment syrups are particularly in demand by patients… And are therefore out of stock. I had more than 250 bottles last month. This morning, I had three remaining.”

The French media reports that the shortages stem from supply chain problems coming from China and India as well as the low cost of drugs to consumers in France. It has been suggested that other countries selling the same drugs at higher price points are getting more attention from manufacturers as they are willing to pay more.

“The same drug made by the same manufacturer can be sold more expensively than in France,” explains Gilgiotti.

The situation is bad enough that French Health Minister François Braun has publicly complained, taking to the airwaves on France 2’s The Four Truths to voice his concerns last week.

Meanwhile, the doctor’s strike is ongoing, but Braun has said that while the possibility of consultations being raised was possible, but not up to €50, as demanded by protestors.

“Okay, we are increasing the consultation fee, but I want the 650,000 French people who are chronically ill to have a doctor, because they currently don’t have one. I want us to be able to have a doctor at night or the weekend,” he said.

For now, doctors will remain on strike, though early reports of a return to work on Monday are beginning to circulate.


See more:

Doctors continue strike action, protest called for Thursday


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Photo source: Freestocks on Unsplash

Half of world’s glaciers predicted to disappear by 2100

A new study published in the Science journal reveals that half of the planet’s glaciers will be gone by 2100, even if the world manages to control rising temperatures. The scenario grows worse if it doesn’t.

According to researchers, the planet will lose 49% of the world’s glaciers by the end of the century, with at least half of that loss occurring in the next three decades.

The 49% figure was the optimistic version, in the event that the world reaches the goal set out under the Paris Accord climate agreement, whereby nations limit global warming to 1.5ºC in an attempt to avoid a chain of catastrophic events from happening.

The darker version predicts that 68% will be gone by 2100 if the current scenario of 2.7ºC warming continues. The report, published in Science, says that will leave Central Europe, western Canada and the United States almost entirely without glaciers.

The result will be massive sea level rises, up to 115 millimetres, which will affect the drinking water supply for up to two billion people, as well as increase natural disaster risks, including major flooding episodes.

Lower mountain ranges such as the Alps and the Pyrenees will be hit hardest. Glaciers are anticipated to be 70% smaller in the Alps by 2050. This will almost certainly affect biodiversity, with the possibility that alpine flowers, for example, could die out completely, according to the report.

The study’s lead author, a civil and environmental engineer from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Dr David Rounce, said, “This is the first time we have isolated the number of glaciers that will be lost – before it was the total mass loss. When we think about the locations where most people see and visit glaciers, it’s really in locations where they’re accessible, like in Central Europe or in high mountain Asia. In these regions, there are a lot of smaller glaciers. They’re really at the core of the societies and economies of those locations.”

The researchers utilised 20 years of satellite data to precisely map the glaciers. This allowed for more accuracy than previous studies, which relied on measurements from specific glaciers, therefore not giving a global picture.

The study included all glacial land ice, except for the Antarctic ice sheets and Greenland.

This is not the first study to be carried out on glacier loss with an eye to predicting sea level rise, but it is the most accurate to date, having the benefit of using the satellite data combined with previous reports.


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Photo source: D. Valdemaras for Unsplash 

All you need to know about France’s Social Security Financing Act

From this year, 2023, France’s newest legislations will streamline services in a range of health sectors, from sexual health to improving access to care, as well as tackle fraudulent claims.

Here’s a rundown of some of the key measures included in the Social Security Financing Act or Loi de Financement de la Sécurité Sociale (LFSS).

The preventative health appointments offered by the social security system at key stages of life, referred to as examen de prévention en santé, will now be free-of-charge.

Screening for sexually transmitted infections is now possible without a prescription, excluding HIV testing, as well as being fully reimbursed for under 26s. A range of condoms available in pharmacies are free for the same age group.   

All women, regardless of age, can obtain emergency contraception, such as the morning-after pill, from pharmacies without any financial burden. 

A range of 14 standard vaccinations, such as diphtheria and tetanus, are now possible in pharmacies, joining seasonal flu and Covid-19 jabs. Nurses and midwives are also eligible providers. The service is for over 16s and a prescription is still needed, but the move vastly simplifies a process that previously required a doctor’s visit.

To help bring down the rate of tobacco smoking amongst the population, France will increase the average price of a pack of cigarettes by an estimated 50 cents in 2023 and another 35 cents the following year. 

The maximum working age for doctors and nurses in a hospital setting has been levelled at 72, until 2035, when it is likely to be reviewed. 

Reparations for children who are harmed by pesticides in utero and suffer adverse effects as they grow up will be improved.

Cancer patients will now receive 100% reimbursement for hair prostheses

A number of trials are being included in the new act, such as a three-year trial of obligatory sickle cell screening in newborns, an additional 12 months of testing time for scientists and doctors working with therapeutic cannabis, and the permission for nurses to sign death certificates on an experimental basis over the next year in an attempt to relieve doctors of the task. 

Financial support for single parents is getting a make-over, with choix du mode de garde provisions reserved for children under six to be extended to 12 years of age. There has also been a 50% increase in the family support allowance for single-parent households, rising to €184.41 per month and per child. 

Assisting France’s oldest residents and improving their access to care are also key features of the LFSS. An additional 4,000 places in care homes will be created in 2023 alongside provisions for 3,000 extra nurses and caregivers at residential facilities. By 2027, the government anticipates the creation of 50,000 new jobs in the sector. For those still living independently, but beginning to struggle, a system called MaprimAdapt has been established to help update and adapt homes to their new needs. 

France will tackle the damaging rates of fraudulent social security claims, aiming to increase detection by 10% over the next 12 months as well as the efficiency and effectiveness of fraud recovery. Excluding pensions, benefits will no longer be paid to bank accounts lying outside of the EU. 

For the full list, please head to the official Service Public website.


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Photo source: Xavier Mouton for Unsplash

Get the full Alpine experience without leaving Monaco

A chalet-style pop-up in Monaco with all the après-ski trappings of a Swiss resort awaits this winter at the Novotel Monte-Carlo Hotel thanks to a collaboration with restaurant chain Tradiswiss.

For those who love a good Swiss ski resort, with all that charm, warmth and indulgent food, there is now a way to get the experience without leaving the comforts of Monaco.

From 7th January to 28th February, the Novotel Monte-Carlo Hotel and Tradiswiss brand will transform a space inside the hotel into a chalet complete with a classic wood and mountaineering-inspired décor and a delicious alpine menu.

The restaurant will feature mouth-watering dishes such as fondue made with Vacherin Fribourgeois and Swiss Gruyère, traditional raclette, and charcuterie platters loaded with a selection of finely sliced meats. Desserts include double cream meringue and Swiss chocolate fondue.

Tradiswiss, which has restaurants in both Nice and Paris, sources its products from artisan producers from the canton of Valais, bringing true authenticity to each meal.

For more information or to book a reservation, please click here.


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Photo source: Angela Pham for Unsplash

Roca Team begin 2023 with a loss in Serbia

AS Monaco Basketball suffered a fourth-quarter collapse in the Stark Arena cauldron in Serbia as Sasa Obraodivc’s men began the year with a loss against Partizan Belgrade (100-80) on Thursday.

The Roca Team were kept alive in the game by the efforts of Elie Okobo, who after a short period of adaptation, has become one of the leading creative sources within the side. His 17 points and nine assists helped Monaco keep up with Partizan, who were free-scoring throughout the fixture.

Familiar faces

The usually infallible Mike James was off-colour on the night, registering a meagre nine points, and his performance epitomised the Monaco collective, who after a brilliant end to 2022, couldn’t carry their form into the New Year.

In Belgrade, Monaco came up against a familiar face in Danilo Andjusic, the Roca player, who departed the Principality club in the summer in search of a new challenge. The Serbian was prolific from outside the arc, scoring all four of his T3 attempts, and at the right time, allowing Partizan to grow an unassailable lead in the fourth-quarter.

Offensively stifled, Monaco couldn’t stop bleeding points at the other end either as they suffered a nightmarish 10 minutes of basketball (31-12) on their way to a heavy defeat (100-80).

In defeat, Monaco missed the chance to move clear at the top of the Euroleague table, however, not all is lost with Baskonia and Barcelona losing earlier on Thursday evening.

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Photo by AS Monaco Basket