ISLAMABAD: Amid rising cases of dengue in the country, an artificial shortage of paracetamol pills has been created nationwide, prompting the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) to intervene and ensure its supply on prescribed rates, ARY NEWS reported.
According to sources privy to the development, DRAP head Dr. Asim Rauf has issued a letter to provincial offices of the authority, directing strict action against any shortages and hike in the price of the pill.
The letter said that a rise in dengue cases has led to a manifold increase in the demand for the pill and directed the DRAP officials to activate field staff to ensure its availability to the citizens.
Later speaking to ARY NEWS, the DRAP head said that efforts were underway to ensure the availability of paracetamol pills at the prescribed rate and they had also approached pharmaceutical companies to increase their production.
He said that paracetamol pills are available in the pharmaceutical markets of Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Quetta, and Karachi and they had also increased surveillance to avoid any shortages.
“The pill is easily available with separate names across the country,” he said and asked the doctors to create awareness regarding alternate brands of paracetamol to their patients.
Responding to the issue, Punjab health minister Yasmin Rashid said that dengue cases have seen a downward trend and it has come down to 250 cases a day from over 500 previously.
“We have a stock of 37.5 million Panadol along with the availability of 410 million paracetamol pills in the market,” she said while sharing that 16 companies are authorized to manufacture the drug and the shortage was caused after they lowered their production.
Dr. Yasmin Rashid further said that the companies have been directed to increase the production of panadol, Calpol, and other paracetamol pills.