On Monday, the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MBS), which takes responsibility for issues concerning public safety and emergency management, announced the risk of fire would reach extreme levels this week:
“Four critical forest fires are in progress, and there is a very high risk of more, especially in the southern part of the country and the Mälardal region.
“The situation is extremely serious. MSB urges everyone to take responsibility and follow local fire bans.”
To date, the fires have had no impact on the pharmaceutical industry, Swedish Association of the Pharmaceutical Industry’s Jan Ström told us:
“Devastating – and unprecedented and dangerous and economically disastrous – as the fires in Sweden might be, thankfully they are all concentrated in sparsely-populated forest areas and they are far from any manufacturing or industrial centres. We do not see any risk at all for fire-related drug shortages.”
This was backed up by Swedish Medical Products Agency spokesperson Lars Dagerholt: “At this time, fires in the forest have had no effect on the supply of medicines in Sweden.”
A number of pharmaceutical firms have also confirmed their Sweden-based facilities are unharmed by the fires.
“Thankfully no Pfizer facility is affected by the fires in Sweden,” a Pfizer spokesperson told us.
Cobra Biologics’ sales and marketing director, Philip Ridley-Smith, was also grateful the firm’s biosimilar antibody production facility in Södertälje, and microbiota production and fill finish site in Matfors are safe: “Thankfully, we have not been affected by the fires.”
GE Healthcare, which has a presence in Uppsala and Danderyd, told us its facilities are unaffected, with Recipharm also confirming its facilities are in the clear.