THE SUPPLY of paracetamol in Metro Manila has stabilized following reports of drug store shortages earlier this month, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.

Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said in a mobile phone message that supply is currently adequate following a run on the over-the-counter drug to rising coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases and other flu-like illnesses.

“Purchase limits on paracetamol helped in normalizing the supply and demand situation. Manufacturers were able to catch up in replenishing (retail stocks) as demand wasn’t artificially bloated,” Mr. Lopez said.

In early January, some drugstores in Metro Manila reported they were out of stock of paracetamol and other treatments for flu and fever following the rise in COVID-19 cases.

The DTI and Department of Health issued a joint memorandum circular (JMC) on Jan. 10 that imposed a purchase limit on paracetamol and other medicines.

A purchase cap was also recently implemented by the DTI in Cebu City, where COVID-19 has also surged.

Under the JMC, the limit for paracetamol 500 milligram (mg) tablet purchases is 20 units per individual and 60 per household. Paracetamol 120 mg/5 milliliter (ml), 60 ml in suspension form was capped at five units per individual and 10 per household; and paracetamol 250 mg/5 ml, and 60 ml in suspension form five per individual and 10 per household. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave