What This Perceived Shortage of Paracetamol in the Philippines Caused

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Even as we kick off this New Year 2022 with much hope and optimism, some unfortunate circumstances still fell on many across the nation. First, COVID-19 cases have once again been rising since after the holidays. Second and simultaneous with the former, many people experienced flu or flu-like symptoms. And lastly, there had been a perceived shortage of paracetamol and other drugs for flu-like symptoms.

In this article, we will discuss how we came into such instances and what the latter situation caused to the Filipino people.

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As the Holidays Ended, COVID-19 and Flu Cases Rise

If we can remember, Metro Manila and other major regions of the country stayed at Alert Level 2 until December 31, 2021. This, of course, meant a more relaxed restriction during the holidays. So, we thought we didn’t have to be heavily reliant on fast fiber internet to get connected with our loved ones because we can actually spend time with them. And as Filipinos merrily celebrated Christmas and New Year, a lot of people went out. Some were even reported to have breached quarantine protocols. That’s why COVID-19 tolls were higher than before the holiday celebrations.

Additionally, immediately after the start of 2022, many Filipinos got ill due to flu or its symptoms. That is also the reason why many needed medicines to treat fever or moderate pain from other symptoms.

What are the Flu-Like Symptoms Experienced by Many?

Recently, there is a surge of people experiencing flu symptoms such as the following:

  • fever or chills
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • cold
  • headaches
  • fatigue or a general feeling of tiredness.

And as people are more vigilant due to the current pandemic, they are constantly monitoring these symptoms. Those who already have them, try to treat it within their household. And the ones who didn’t fall ill, have already prepared by buying needed medications in advance.

How Come There’s a Shortage of Paracetamol (Philippines) and Other Medicines?

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Photo by clubfoot on iStock

In relation to the above, it seems that there is an ongoing shortage of certain brands of paracetamol and related drugs. Such medications, the much-needed ones in this current situation, are nowhere to be found for some of our fellowmen.

There was an “extraordinary demand.”

Local manufacturers are the ones who can answer us if the demand is really high. And it’s a yes. One of the leading manufacturers in the country of famous flu treatment drugs admitted that there is, indeed, a shortage in some drugstores nationwide. And this is, of course, attributable to the unprecedented and unbelievable increase in demand.

Some people went panic buying and hoarding.

If we are to mend the pieces of the current situation, the shoot-up of demand is not far from reality. First, the eased-up restriction signals more people being able to go out. This then translates to an expectation of more crowded places. Second, data forecasted, and then, later on, showed, the increase in active COVID-19 cases.

Thus, people went panic buying paracetamol and other related medicines. This is to ensure that they will have such products as the need may arise.

But aside from this, those “grab-the-opportunity” minded people hoard such products in anticipation of such an increase in demand. Then, they sell it in retail.

What Happened After Such Perceived Shortage of Paracetamol?

With the ongoing circumstances, those who fell ill and the ones close to them really felt the impact of the alleged shortage of such medicines.

People rant on social media.

This particular issue actually reached the mainstream media because netizens clamored online. As the people cannot contain their dismay over such a “temporary shortage” of medicines, they rant it out on social media. Many pointed out that they cannot find any store that sells the famous and trusted paracetamol brand in the country. Others even relate such a scenario as a sign of what can be expected this whole 2022.

It birthed a lot of memes.

chat to john lloyd - paracetamol philippines - streamtech fiber internet
Photo by from Rhadson Mendoza’s Facebook Page

The interesting thing about the unfortunate situation is that Filipinos still found time to make fun and witty jokes about it. Some netizens announced that they still have graham or salad and that they’re willing to swap it for paracetamol. On the other hand, some joked that since paracetamol is nowhere to be found, the last resort would be a gin and some slices of calamansi. Another hilarious move of a netizen was to chat John Lloyd Cruz, a renowned Filipino actor, asking if he still has stocks of the needed paracetamol. As we might all know, he was an endorser of a famous paracetamol brand before.

Authorities encouraged people to use alternatives.

Finally, pertinent government agencies spoke up about the situation. They assured the public that in reality, there is no ongoing shortage of such medicines. This is most especially true since they are monitoring the supply, as these meds are also needed for COVID-19 symptomatic treatment. They might have just recognized that the branded ones (which are commonly the priority) are selling so fast.

generic - paracetamol Philippines - streamtech fiber internet
Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

However, it is true that there is an observed increased demand. Additionally, there might really be some people who are hoarding such products. But the people do not have to worry. Experts say that there are many generic alternatives available in the market. The people might just not know about these other brands since they prioritize buying the branded ones. Authorities also added that these generic drugs are also effective, just like the branded ones.

Finally, the government is encouraging everyone to not make unnecessary purchases. They should limit purchase quantity to only the needed number of medicines so that others will have the chance to avail of the same medicines. Addedly, all medications have a limited shelf life. And if a person bought too much, they might just reach the expiration date without being consumed.

They Heard Us, Thanks to the Internet!

Yes, we should be grateful to the online space where it has been possible to voice out our important concerns. This shortage issue reached the mainstream media and, of course, pertinent authorities due to our online posts, calls, and appeals. That is why it is important to engage the services of a reliable internet provider in the Philippines to always stay up to date.

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