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DOH says there is no shortage of paracetamol following social media complaints

By SAAB LARIOSA Published Jan 04, 2022 8:03 pm Updated Jan 06, 2022 7:46 am

While the demand for over-the-counter flu medicine rising in the country, the Department of Health (DOH) denied reports that there is an ongoing shortage of some paracetamol drug brands.

The DOH said in a Jan. 4 statement that drugstore chains and local manufacturers have belied reports of a supposed drug shortage.

"The DOH would like to assure the public that while there is an increased demand for such products, there is no ongoing shortage in the Philippines."

"Paracetamol has many generic alternatives in the market, which are available in many drug stores nationwide," DOH added. The DOH has also requested the public to refrain from hoarding and panic-buying medicine. 

Meanwhile, with the paracetamol brand "Biogesic" becoming a trending topic on social media on Jan. 3, private pharmaceutical company Unilab also said that while the demand is "extraordinary", they are in the process of replenishing their stock.

"We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this has caused. We assure you that we are working with our partner drugstores and retailers to accelerate replenishment at the soonest possible time," the drug company said.

Unilab's external affairs head Claire Papa also shared in a phone interview that there is no lack of supply for brands such as Biogesic and Bioflu in their inventory, as some reported shortage may only be experienced temporarily by retailers.

PhilSTAR L!fe has also reached out to drug store Mercury Drug for a statement.

Biogesic and similar medications have been trending since the start of the new year, with many netizens reporting that they have been experiencing the flu or flu-like symptoms and local drugstores have been sold out on their product of choice.

On Jan. 4, the DOH reported 5,434 new COVID-19 cases, its highest single-day cases record in two months. The country now has a total of 2,861,119 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with seven imported and three local cases of the highly-transmissible Omicron variant.