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DOH says no shortage of paracetamol, flu meds despite reports on social media

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com
DOH says no shortage of paracetamol, flu meds despite reports on social media
People queue outside a drug store in Quiapo, Manila on Sunday night, Jan. 2, 2022 following reports of a shortage paracetamol and other fever medicines.
The STAR / Miguel De Guzman

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 3:11 p.m.) — There is no shortage of paracetamol and other drugs for flu-like symptoms, the Department of Health said Tuesday as it advised the public against hoarding medicines.

The department issued the statement following reports of social media users of limited supplies of paracetamol, and other medicines for flu and cold in pharmacies as COVID-19 continues to spread during the flu season.

"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 DOH said.

"Paracetamol has many generic alternatives in the market, which are available in many drug stores nationwide," it added.

In a statement, pharmaceutical company Unilab said that "some of our brands are temporarily out of stock in select drug stores due to extraordinary demand."

"We assure you that we are working with our partner drug stores and retailers to accelerate replenishment at the soonest possible time," it also said.

DOH asks buyers not to hoard meds

The DOH stressed it is constantly monitoring the status of supply of critical medicines for COVID-19, including supportive medicines for symptomatic treatment, and is working with the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Trade and Industry in securing the needed health products.

"We would like to appeal to consumers however to refrain from hoarding, panic-buying or unnecessary purchases of such medications when clinically warranted,” it also said.

Authorities have attributed the sharp rise in COVID-19 cases to increased mobility during the holiday season, laxer compliance to health protocols, and the presence of the highly contagious Omicron variant.

The DOH reported 4,048 additional infections Monday, bringing the total number of active cases to nearly 25,000.

COVID-19 PANDEMIC

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

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