The price of Panadol tablets for the poor is Rs. 20 and for the rich Rs. 30. Has the Panadol pill disappeared from Karachi? These are the impressions of a Karachi medical seller and a resident on social media. According to the salesman of another medical store, he is selling an address of Rs 30 because he is getting the address of ten pills from the wholesaler for Rs 26.
Panadol tablets were available from a private hospital pharmacy at Rs 20 per address as they had ‘old stock’ while at a medical store in the President’s area of the city the drug was not available due to ‘shortage’ and its In return, customers were being told to buy a Ponstan tablet.
However, the shortage is not limited to Karachi. In this regard, there is also a shortage of Panadol in Lahore, the capital of Pakistan’s Punjab province. Panadol shortage in Pakistan is not new. Earlier, there was a shortage in November last year, after which the availability could be ensured only after the intervention of the Drug Regulatory Authority (DRAP).
Now that the news of Panadol shortage in the country has come to light once again, the question is being raised as to what are the real causes of Panadol shortage in the country and how long it is likely to continue. “Raw materials cannot be imported from India and there is no storage facility in Pakistan”
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According to officials, the decline in the supply of raw material for paracetamol in Pakistan is being cited as one of the major reasons for this shortage. Pakistan Drug Regulatory Authority (DRAP) says that most of Pakistan’s medicines are imported from China and more than half of the industries in China are shut down due to environmental pollution which has led to doubling of raw material prices. ۔
Salahuddin Sheikh, president of the Drug Association in Karachi, told the BBC that the raw material for paracetamol in Pakistan is imported from China. Coming but the quantity is less. Therefore, due to unavailability of raw material, these drugs are not being developed.
According to Salahuddin, “Pakistan’s relations with India are not good so raw materials cannot be imported from there while Pakistan does not have the facility to store raw materials and the government does not have the raw materials for these essential medicines so that in case of emergency. Can be used. Meanwhile, a petition is also pending in the Drug Court in Lahore in which the plaintiff demands that action be taken against those responsible for the artificial shortage as it has been created due to the black market.
The Additional Director of Pakistan Drug Regulatory Authority (DRAP) had told the court that more than 40 million Panadol tablets had been manufactured this year. The company was provided with raw materials to make another 20 million Panadol’s, but it has only been able to make 1.7 million tablets.
Regarding the recent shortage of Panadol in Lahore, Secretary Primary and Secondary Health Care Imran Sikandar Baloch said that the department is using all its capabilities for the availability of Panadol pill and efforts have been intensified in this regard.
He said that there is a stock of 68 million Panadol tablets in Punjab while 82.19 million tablets have been kept in stock in the provincial capital Lahore alone. He further said that in Rawalpindi division 11 million, in Multan division 88 million while in Gujranwala division 86 million Panadol tablets are in stock.
The reason for the increase in prices is only the shortage?
In Pakistan, where there have been complaints of a shortage of Panadol and IB-profane since November last year, in the first month of the new year, DRAP approved a nine to 15 per cent price increase. However, shortage is not the only reason for this increase.
According to a statement issued by DRAP, upon contacting the industry, it was learned that due to low cost of many medicines, their manufacture was not commercially viable and DRAP had difficulty in raising the prices of medicines as far as possible. Withheld the decision.
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“But when the unavailability of life-saving and essential medicines in the market began to increase, a reasonable increase in prices was taken in the interest of patients and the country at large.” GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a member of the Paracetamol family in Pakistan, manufactures Panadol tablets and syrups. In small and large cities, Panadol is present in almost every household like other essentials.
This is considered to be the first treatment for headaches, fevers, sore throats and body aches. The government of Pakistan has added paracetamol, including Panadol, to its list of essential medicines. Dr. Saeed Qureshi, Vice Chancellor, Dow Medical University, explains that paracetamol is primarily a painkiller and infection treatment pill. Is used.
Is this crisis temporary?
Apart from Pakistan, there are reports of paracetamol deficiency in other countries including UK, Philippines and India. Despite repeated contacts in the office of Asim Rauf, CEO of the Pakistan Drug Regulatory Authority, his position was not forthcoming.
President of Karachi Drug Association Salahuddin Sheikh said that closed factories in China are likely to reopen in March after which supply of raw materials will be provided and only after that the situation is likely to improve.
Riaz Malik, a wholesaler at the Madison Market in Lahore, has expressed concern that the shortage is likely to intensify. He said that if raw materials were not available in the international market, a new wave of cod was coming or dengue was likely to increase after winter, in which case consumption would increase and shortage would be severe.
Increased consumption of Panadol in Corona
Pakistan is one of the countries that has been infected with COD and its subsequent omecron virus. According to figures released by the National Command and Operations Center on Wednesday, more than 64,000 people were tested in the last 24 hours, with more than 6,000 testing positive. Earlier, dengue cases had also increased in Lahore and Karachi in December. Dr. Abdul Bari, head of Indus Hospital, said cod and dengue had led to an increase in consumption of Panadol and overall paracetamol.
According to him, whatever the variant, the patient will be given Panadol. In addition, in case of dengue or malaria fever, Panadol or paracetamol will be given. Cod was already here and then dengue came and its consumption increased. Riaz Malik, a wholesaler at the Madison Market in Lahore, says that cod has increased the consumption of Panadol worldwide and has put pressure on its raw materials, which has affected production and created shortages.
“In case of shortage, the company provides the required medicine to the retailer instead of the wholesaler so that its customer is not affected and does not turn to any company and this is also happening at present,” he said. There is a shortage in the market but it is available in general stores.
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Replacement of Panadol
Numerous local and international pharmaceutical companies are operating in Pakistan, making tablets and syrups under the name of GSK Panadol, and a position on the e-mail provided on the website to know their position on the current shortage. Requested but no response from them yet.
Dr. Saeed Qureshi, VC, Dow Medical University, says: There is also an alternative to aspirin but it also has side effects. Paracetamol has no side effects so it is preferred. Paracetamol is also available by age and includes drops, syrups, pills and injections.
Pediatrician Dr. Ijaz Janjhi says, “There are about a dozen companies making these types, but the brand is in the minds of the people. Even if a doctor prescribes another company’s medicine, the patient’s mind will not accept it. It is the same formula and its price is also a little less so there is a need to make people aware that many companies make medicines on the same formula and all have the same effects.