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Cebu News

DTI: Cap on purchase of fever, flu medicines to be enforced strictly

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman
DTI: Cap on purchase of fever, flu medicines to be enforced strictly
People buying for medicine line up at a pharmacy in downtown Cebu City amid the resurgence of COVID-19 cases.
Aldo Nelbert Banaynal

CEBU, Philippines — To prevent hoarding amid the ongoing spike in COVID-19 cases, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-7 has assured the Cebu City government through the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) that it is strictly implementing the joint memorandum circular setting a limit on how much of certain types of medicines a person or household  can buy at any time.

DTI regional director Maria Elena Arbon made the assurance in reply to EOC deputy chief implementer Joel Garganera’s request to regulate the sale of fever and flu medicines in the city.

The EOC has observed that people are on a panic buying mode for fever and flu medicines and drug stores are already running out of supplies. Arbon said the DTI and the Department of Health (DOH) issued a joint memorandum a week ago setting a cap on the purchase of these medicines, which are used to treat symptoms of COVID-19.

These include paracetamol, phenylephrine hydrochloride, chlorpheniramine maleate, and carbocisteine.

For paracetamol, an individual can only buy 20 tablets at a time while a household is limited to buying 60 tablets at a time. For the liquid form of this medication, the limit is five bottles for individuals and 10 bottles for a household.

The joint memorandum circular also requires retailers to post notices in their stores to inform customers of the number of medicines they can purchase at a time. The DTI also asked the general public to avoid impulse purchases and to consider generics of these over-the-counter medicines.

The DTI also reminded everyone that online sales of these medicines are prohibited “unless they adhere to the existing rules and regulations of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)”.

“We are continually monitoring these medicines in major drug stores/pharmacies. Rest assured that DTI is also working closely with the manufacturers of these products to ensure enough medicine supply,” Arbon assured Garganera in her letter.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama also called up Senator Bong Go, chairman of the Senate committee on health, to ask for more supplies of fever and flu medicines. — FPL (FREEMAN)

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