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Manufacturer GSK increases supply of Panadol in Singapore after recent surge in demand

Manufacturer GSK increases supply of Panadol in Singapore after recent surge in demand

A photo of the Panadol shelf at Hougang 1 Mall in Singapore on Apr 7, 2022.

SINGAPORE: The company that produces Panadol is increasing its supply of the paracetamol-based products in Singapore to meet higher demand, after specific variants such as Panadol Extra and Panadol Cough and Cold fell short in some stores earlier this year.

GSK Consumer Healthcare said that demand for Panadol increased in the second half of 2021 amid the rise in COVID-19 cases in Singapore, and surged even further in the first quarter of this year amid the Omicron wave and as Singapore stepped up its booster vaccination programme.

"Due to the surge in demand ... specific variants of Panadol such as Panadol Extra and Panadol Cough and Cold were lower in supply in some stores, especially during the peak periods," GSK said on Monday (Apr 11) in response to queries by CNA.

"However, the situation has since improved through the middle of March and we believe consumers will be able to get these variants more easily across more outlets since the beginning of April."

GSK's comments follow reports on social media and from CNA readers of a short supply of certain Panadol products at certain outlets.

Panadol is a popular brand of pain reliever drug paracetamol, which is commonly used to treat fevers and headaches. The products are sold across pharmacies, supermarkets, convenience stores and provision stores.

One CNA reader said she faced problems buying Panadol in February, but that the issue has since eased.

"The shelves were empty, we had to approach the pharmacist for assistance," said Ms Nancy Chan.

On Mar 19, Facebook user FW Debbie Lue said: "Panadol Extra now everywhere no stock. Things are getting out of hand. Probably (COVID-19) is a common flu right now, almost everyone around me got infected after one another."

The Government in February introduced several measures to ease the strain on the healthcare sector, including urging employers not to insist on medical certificates or recovery memos as proof of employees' COVID-19 infection.

Those who had mild symptoms were encouraged to isolate and recover at home instead of visiting clinics or hospitals.

"Home recovery was the recommended route. In turn, this led to a surge in demand for Panadol as consumers turned to over-the-counter medicines to help relieve their mild symptoms of fever, pain, cough and sore throat," GSK told CNA.

It added, however, that more stocks of both Panadol Extra and Panadol Cough and Cold have arrived since the beginning of April, alleviating the situation.

"There is sufficient supply of Panadol for consumers in Singapore, although certain stores might run out of certain variants faster than others. We are increasing supply to meet the higher demand wherever possible," said GSK.

"We would also like to encourage Singaporeans to responsibly purchase for their immediate needs to ensure there is supply for everyone."

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Source: CNA/aj(rw)


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