Some pharmaceutical companies ‘fly’ drugs abroad to increase local supply

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A Quezon City pharmacy made a list of over-the-counter drugs that were unavailable on January 4, 2022, as stocks run out and people accumulate common medicines for the fever, coughs and colds associated with COVID-19 disease. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA – Some pharmaceutical companies have sourced basic drugs from overseas to increase supply as unusual demand has caused a “temporary shortage,” especially in metro Manila, a stakeholder said Thursday.

There has been an unusual demand for brand-name flu products, cough and cold medications, and vitamins in recent days as the Philippines has seen a rapid increase in the number of COVID cases, driven by the new omicron variant.

“What we are noticing is that this is a temporary shortage due to increased demand, perhaps because people are much more vigilant now or many are really sick,” Jannette Jakosalem, vice president of the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines, told the ANC. .

“As we speak, we are already restocking… in fact, some of our members are airlifting drugs from other countries to increase the supply to the Philippines,” she added.

Most of these drugs are made locally, so stocks are likely to be replenished 2-3 days after receiving orders from pharmacies, Jakosalem said.

The Industry Ministry said earlier that there was no need to panic since the products are available locally and it is simply a matter of restocking the shelves.

Earlier this week, the Department of Health said there was no shortage of paracetamol and similar flu drugs and encouraged the public to try generic alternatives.

“The DOH would like to assure the public that although there is an observed increase in demand for such products, there is no continuing shortage in the Philippines,” he said in a statement.

ANC, ANC Top, Pharmaceuticals, Drugs, Flu Medication, Vitamins, Cough and Cold, Supply Shortage


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