MANILA (UPDATE) - There is no shortage of paracetamol and similar drugs for flu, the Department of Health said Tuesday as it urged the public to avoid panic buying.
The health agency said it was monitoring the supply of "critical medicines for COVID-19" and working with the Food and Drug Administration and the trade department to secure drugs for coronavirus treatment.
Paracetamol has "many generic alternatives in the market, which are available in many drugstores nationwide", it added.
“The DOH would like to assure the public that while there is an observed increased demand for such products, there is no ongoing shortage in the Philippines," it said in a statement.
"We would like to appeal to consumers however to refrain from hoarding, panic-buying or unnecessary purchases of such medications when not clinically warranted."
Pharmaceutical firm Unilab, in a statement, said some of its brands are "temporarily out of stock in select drugstores due to extraordinary demand."
"We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this has caused," it said. "We assure you that we are working with our partner drugstores and retailers to accelerate replenishment at the soonest possible time."
The Department of Health said Monday it assumes that there is already transmission of the omicron variant in the communities.
The highly transmissible variant may cause mild symptoms compared with the delta variant, said Dr. Edsel Salvana, member of the DOH technical advisory group.