Covid-19 situation across the strait, and concern at home sparked by Taiwan’s reopening for travel, have put strain on medicine supplies
Taiwan may restrict the bulk buying of pain relief medications as people stock up, with some planning to ship their purchases to China, where the worsened Covid-19 situation has put a strain on supplies.
Hsueh Jui-yuan, Taiwan’s minister of health and welfare, told lawmakers at a legislative committee hearing on Thursday that the health agency would first instruct pharmacies to advise customers not to snap up Panadol and related drugs.
The health authorities would discuss if they needed to impose restrictions but there was no concreate plan in place yet, Hsueh told reporters on Thursday, the official news agency Focus Taiwan reported.
Taiwan has experienced shortages of paracetamol and Covid-related medicine since May this year when local cases surged, several pharmacies in Taipei told the Guardian. One pharmacy said that over the past few weeks, customers had come in to stock up, fearing a surge in cases after Taiwan opened its borders to tourists in October.
“We ran out of stock for Panadol fairly quickly and we don’t expect restocking any time soon until probably after the lunar new year, which falls in late January next year,” said one employee at a pharmacy in Da’an district in downtown Taipei.
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