The supply of paracetamol and similar drugs in pharmacies in Metro Manila is expected to be replenished or increased this week, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said Wednesday.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez released the statement in conjunction with reiterating that there is no drug supply shortage in the country.
“Kinausap natin ang manufacturers, in-assure tayo na ang nangyari ay dumagsa talaga ang demand para sa gamot after the [New Year] at ‘di nila inaasahan ang demand mula January 1,” said Lopez.
“Pero in-assure tayo na maraming stock. It’s a matter of replenishing lang… asahan natin na sa linggong ito, within the week, sila ay nagre-replenish na ng kanilang deliveries,” the secretary said.
Many pharmacies in Metro Manila have recently run out of stock of paracetamol and other medicines for cough, cold, and fever.
The Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP) had earlier said that this was due to the increase in demand due to the increase in COVID-19 cases accompanied by the flu season.
According to PHAP Vice President Jannette Jakosalem, they can replenish stocks within 2 to 3 days for the drug brands they sell.
Supply of paracetamol to be replenished this week: DTI
“Puwede silang mag-order ngayon. Kung Metro Manila, in fact, we can deliver on the same day. ‘Yong mga out of stock situations, we’re already reaching out kung ano ang tulong na kailangan nila,” said Jakosalem.
The Drugstores Association of the Philippines also assured that a way is being worked out to supply drugs to pharmacies.
Officials reminded the public that there are many drug brands to choose from and not to panic buy.
On Tuesday, the Department of Health (DOH) has also released a statement that there is no ongoing paracetamol shortage. Such medicine is used to treat fever and mild to moderate pain.
“We have quickly consulted major drugstore chains and local manufacturers and suppliers on the status of supply of said products,” it said. “While there is an increased demand for such products, there is no ongoing shortage in the Philippines.”