No paracetamol shortage, but purchase limit eyed – DOH, DTI
MANILA, Philippines — Certain brands of paracetamol ran out of stock at certain drugstores, a group of pharmaceutical and healthcare companies disclosed on Tuesday even as they assured the public that there were other brands of analgesic available in the market.
The Department of Health (DOH) also on Tuesday assured the public that there was no shortage in paracetamol and other drugs for flu-like symptoms.
“The DOH would like to assure the public that while there is an observed increased demand for such products, there is no ongoing shortage in the Philippines,” the agency said as it appealed to the public not to resort to hoarding or panic-buying.
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez confirmed on Tuesday that Biogesic and Decolgen—two popular brands made by local pharmaceutical company Unilab—have temporarily run out of stock in some areas because of an issue in the delivery.
New deliveries would start coming this week, Lopez said.
“But some brands and generics have ample supply. Rhea Generics products [aren’t] affected as much, also because their lines are supplied by major companies. There are other brands of paracetamol in the market, so there is no shortage,” he added.
“[We] will also ask the drugstores to limit purchase quantity just to prevent panic- buying,” Lopez said.
In an advisory posted on social media, local pharmaceutical company Unilab said some of its brands were temporarily out of stock “due to extraordinary demand.’’
The Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP) maintained that the shortage of certain brands was temporary.
“With the heightened vigilance against the Omicron variant, and a number of people getting sick due to various reasons, we are experiencing a temporary shortage of certain brands of paracetamol in some areas,” said PHAP, whose member firms include Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Mercury Drug, and Watsons.
“Paracetamol is available in various dosage forms and strengths, combination products, and under several hundred brands. Alternative analgesics are also available. At the moment, we have enough supply of analgesics available in our inventory,” it said.
It urged the public to consult doctors and pharmacists for alternatives in case there is a shortage of paracetamol in their area. “We also call on them to buy only the needed number, and not overstock, because medicines have a limited shelf life or expiration date, and to consider other patients who may need them more,” PHAP added.
#Paracetamol trended on social media site Twitter on Tuesday, as consumers started complaining about the lack of supply long before statements were issued confirming the problem.
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