'Don't overstock': Pharma firms appeal to consumers as vitamins on 'artificial shortage'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 19 2020 05:27 PM

A pharmacy makes a sale in Quezon City. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News file photo

MANILA - Pharmaceutical companies said on Wednesday they are ramping up production of vitamins and appealing to consumers not to overstock, as drug stores report a "high demand" of these items amid the COVID-19 crisis.

"The high demand for vitamins has also resulted in an artificial medicine shortage," the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP) said in a statement. 

PHAP said it is advising consumers not to overstock on vitamins so that vulnerable patients and at-risk groups are not left without these essential medicines. 

"We are accelerating production and working hard to manage a good level of inventory as much as possible. We also encourage patients to only buy and use medicines that are prescribed by their doctors," PHAP said.

A source from a pharmaceutical firm confirmed many drug stores are reporting vitamins are out of stock due to "very high demand" noting even supply of pediatric vitamins are affected.

The industry group said its members are doing their best to increase manufacturing capacity, keeping their plants and warehouses open to maintain steady supply of medicines. 

But PHAP said the pandemic has also affected their members, who have to deal with manufacturing delays due to strict health protocols.