After seeing a severe shortage of Panadol in Pakistan, the brand has announced they have halted the production of the drug for the time being. Panadol or Paracetamol is an over-the-counter drug to treat fever and mild to moderate pain.
Considering the current influx of dengue and COVID-19 cases in Pakistan, the drug is heavily being used in the country. The drug has high demand in the country and it looks like the demand will increase even further.
GlaxoSmithKline, the brand that manufactures the medicine, is concerned about their loss margin as they manufacture more medicine than they prepared.
Panadol Production Stopped
While there has been a high demand for the drug, that is not the only factor for the decrease in the availability of the product. The brand had first slowed down the production of the medicine. Just last month, a summary was presented by the Ministry of National Health Services to increase the price of a total of 35 medicines to the Federal cabinet. One of those medicines was Panadol.
The Federal cabinet rejected the summary, despite the fact that the summary wanted only to increase Rs. 1 per tablet for the time being. The Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Association of Pakistan forewarned the cabinet this could happen and they still went on to reject the summary.
Why Panadol is Important?
At the moment, Panadol is being used for more than just to treat patients with dengue and COVID-19. Considering the flooded areas in the country, Panadol is being sent to those areas as there has been an influx of waterborne diseases in those areas.
From dengue to malaria, these flood-affected areas are seeing an increase in the number of diseases that are being treated with the use of Panadol. Even dengue is being treated as an emergency in those areas. While the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Association of Pakistan that the company can sell the medicine for less than its production cost, GlaxoSmithKline says otherwise.
Currently, GlaxoSmithKline is producing more than 450 million tablets a month and they have halted the production at the moment. The drug regulatory department has notified the public that Panadol being sold at pharmacies at the moment is fake.