Drug manufacturers to replenish paracetamol supply within the week: DTI

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 05 2022 09:49 AM | Updated as of Jan 05 2022 08:28 PM

A drugstore in Quezon City puts up a list of unavailable over-the-counter medicines on January 4, 2022 as supplies run short with people stacking up on common medicines for fever, cough and colds associated with COVID-19 sickness. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News
A drugstore in Quezon City puts up a list of unavailable over-the-counter medicines on January 4, 2022 as supplies run short with people stacking up on common medicines for fever, cough and colds associated with COVID-19 sickness. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE) - Pharmaceutical firms are expected to replenish the stocks of popular brands of paracetamol and other flu drugs within the week, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said Wednesday.

The Department of Health earlier said there was no shortage of such medicines as netizens raised concerns of lack of supply in drugstores.

"Di nila inaasahan ang pagdagsa ng demand mula Jan. 1 at ang normal inventory sa mga tindahan hindi nakahanda sa dagsa ng demand kaya nagkaroon ng out of stock," Lopez told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

(Manufacturers did not expect the demand starting Jan. 1 and pharmacies' normal inventory was not prepared that's why medicines went out of stock.)

"Asahan natin within the week sila ay magrereplenish na ng kanilang delivery."

(Let's expect within the week that manufacturers will replenish their delivery.)

The public is urged not to panic buy as there are enough stocks of medicine for flu, Lopez said.

"Inassure tayo na maraming stock at it’s a matter of replenishing lang ulit," he said.

(We were assured that there's a lot of stock and it’s only a matter of replenishing.)

"'Wag magpanic ang ating mga kababayan, siguro pag may nakita sila 'wag pakyawin, bilhin lang ang pangangailangan dahil inassure tayong may supply dahil dito minamanufacture yan eh."

(The public should not panic. If they see some stock, they should only buy the amount they need because we are assured there's enough supply as it is manufactured here.)

The Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare Association of the Philippines can replenish stocks of popular brands within "2 to 3 days," its president Janette Jakosalem said.

"Pwede silang magorder ngayon (They can order right now), in Metro Manila we can deliver on the same day," she said.

"'Yung mga out of stock situation we are already reaching out so that makakapagreplenish sila ng branches. Regular po kaming nagdedeliver sa kanila (popular drugstores), sa Mercury nagdedeliver kami sa central warehouse tapos sila na ang nagdadala sa branch nila."

(We are already reaching out to pharmacies with out of stock situation so they can replenish their branches. We regularly deliver to them, we deliver to the central warehouse of Mercury Drugstore then they deliver it to their branches.)

The public has many options for paracetamol and other medicines for cough and colds, said Jovelyn Blancaflor, board chairman of the Drugstores Association of the Philippines.

Meanwhile, drugstore chain Watsons said customers may contact their pharmacists, who may be able to help them find substitutes for the paracetamol brands they are looking for. 

Watsons said customers can also go to their website or download the Watsons app to check the availability of the medicines they need. 

“Customers can also choose Express Delivery option where orders can be delivered in four hours or less,” said Danilo Chiong, general manager of Watsons.

Express delivery is available in Metro Manila and select areas in Cavite, Rizal, Laguna and Bulacan for orders made before 5 p.m, he said. 

Drug manufacturers did not foresee the demand before its early cutoff during the last quarter of last year, she added.

"Dahil lumipas po ang December, early po nag-cutoff ang mga supplier namin ng mga gamot and hindi pa rin po bumabalik ang normal operation ng mga supplier," she said.

(Our suppliers set an early cut-off for December and their operations have not yet returned to normal.)

"As soon as possible po, ginagawan na nila ng paraan na makapagbigay sila this first quarter po (they are seeking ways to deliver this first quarter)."

Watch more News on iWantTFC