Panadol Shortage Hits Country as Dengue, Covid Cases Rise

A severe shortage of the widely used over-the-counter (OTC) drug paracetamol has hit the country coinciding with the high demand of the drug due to rising dengue and Covid-19 cases.

Paracetamol is manufactured in Pakistan by GlaxoSmithKline and is sold under the brand name Panadol. In recent weeks the demand for the drug has increased due to rising dengue and Covid-19 cases.

Further, the outbreak of diseases in the aftermath of the devastating floods has further increased the demand. The shortage of Panadol is countrywide and patients are struggling to get hold of the drug.

The drug is prescribed to relieve pain and control fever in many diseases including the currently resurgent dengue. Panadol is among the most widely used drugs in the country and has a very high demand.

Paracetamol is manufactured by certain other local and multinational pharmaceutical companies as well but doctors usually prescribe Panadol to patients.

According to GlaxoSmithKline, Panadol can be used for relieving fever, and for the treatment of mild to moderate pain including headache, migraine, muscle ache, dysmenorrhea, and sore throat.

Why Panadol has disappeared?

Experts say that the shortage is not merely due to the high demand. The major reason for the shortage is a decrease in its production.

Last month, a summary moved by the Ministry of National Health Services seeking an increase in the prices of 35 medicines was rejected by the federal cabinet.

The Pharmaceutical Manufac­turers Association (PPMA) at the time that the decision of the federal cabinet can result in a shortage of these medicines.

According to journalist Ali Khizar, GlaxoSmithKline produces over 450 million tablets of Panadol every month. However, since the company’s production cost is higher than the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) notified by the government the company has reduced production to a bare minimum which has resulted in a severe shortage.

  • Just get them from UK. 29p for 16 tablets of paracetamol. Don’t fall for brand name panadol. They all the same thing.

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