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Why Pakistan faces a Panadol shortage

The timing for the Panadol shortage could not be worse. Currently, Panadol is in extremely high demand in Pakistan due to the recent floods. 

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Pakistan is facing a shortage of widely used over-the-counter (OTC) drug panadol as the company that produced it has stopped production of the drug.

According to the details, the company, which has been demanding permission to increase Panadol’s price, says that production was no longer cost-effective. Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Association of Pakistan (PMA) says that the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan had sent a summary to the health ministry recommending an increase of Rs. 1 per tablet, however, the federal cabinet rejected the summary.

As a result, the company – which produces 450 million tablets a month – has halted production. Pakistan is already facing a shortage of medicines, leading to a crisis-like situation in Punjab.

Read more: Twitter user explains real reason of price increase of medicine in Pakistan

The drug had already begun disappearing from local markets due to the non-availability of the raw material in the international markets and the low price of the medicine. The manufacturer has been requesting authorities to raise the price, but the request was rejected.

Pertinent to mention that the issue of Panadol shortage has been going on for several months. As per economic experts, the pharmaceutical industry was due for its regulatory price control checks and the increase in price was set to be approved in February. However, the vote of no confidence motion took place and the new government rejected the increase in price, leading to production difficulties for the company.

With the company halting production altogether, the shortage of Panadol will exacerbate. Moreover, some of the tablets sold by pharmacies are fraudulent.

High demand but no Panadol

The timing for the Panadol shortage could not be worse. Currently, Panadol is in extremely high demand in Pakistan due to the recent floods.

To clarify, Panadol is a generic drug used to treat fevers, minor pains such as headaches, and vaccination shot aches.

Therefore, the drug is in high demand in flood-hit areas where people face a number of diseases like malaria, dengue fever, acute respiratory infections, and typhoid. In urban centers, too, the demand has peaked in recent days with a higher number of dengue cases being reported.

Read more: Pakistan running out of life saving drugs

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