June 24, 2022

Supply headache: Paracetamol shortage reported at retail stores nationwide

KUALA LUMPUR: Paracetamol, a drug commonly used to relieve fever and headaches, is rare and hard to find in community pharmacies and convenience stores in the capital as well as several other places.

According to a recent survey of community pharmacies, the shelves of the over-the-counter drug, particularly a leading brand, were empty due to high demand caused by the recent rise in the number of Covid-19.

The shortage is also believed to stem from increased purchases to reduce side effects such as fever, joint pain and headache after receiving booster shots.

Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society (MPS) President Amrahi Buang, who also confirmed the shortage, said based on the information he received, that the paracetamol shortage, particularly involving the leading brand, is not is not only produced in the capital, but also in several other states.

He explained that the situation has arisen in recent months due to relatively high purchases during the Covid-19 pandemic, in addition to possible problems in the supply chain.

“I have received information from my peers across the country, this shortage has been going on for several months – maybe it is happening at the manufacturing or distribution level.

“Because manufacturing depends on ingredients or the level of packaging and logistics, this will affect stock availability across the country,” he said.

Social media users have also expressed dismay at this, including Facebook user Josephine Joey who wrote: “Yesterday midday evening I couldn’t find paracetamol, keep looking in pharmacies, grocery stores and supermarkets, unavailable, out of stock”.

Twitter user @fxizmiller tweeted: “Why is it so hard to find this (paracetamol), I searched high and low in Bangi, Petaling Jaya and Seremban when I returned to home town last week, all out of stock,” he said.

Scarcity has also led consumers to source through e-commerce apps. – Bernama