Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Paracetamol (supplied by India) in short supply in UK


Do you know what it is -  going by its chemical data which would read : ~ and before that - British colonized many Countries and ruled them for centuries including India. Here is something relating the subject matter below with India .. .. !!

Formula  -  C8H9NO2
Mol. Mass  -  151.17 g/mol
Physical data
Density - 1.263 g/cm³
Melt. Point - 168 °C (334 °F) and is soluble in water.
Solubility in water : 12.78 [1] mg/mL (20 °C)

It is the one that most of us with some little knowledge consider as a panacea for all illness. In fact, in India there is a common brand called ‘Fepanil’ – which my Medical representative friend representing Citadel Fine Pharma  told to mean  ‘fever pain nil’  -  it is ‘Paracetamol’ – most commonly bought over the counter drug used by adults and children as best seller.   Paracetamol is also known as acetaminophen. 



Paracetamol has been in use as an analgesic for home medication for over 30 years and is perceived to be effective treatment for the relief of pain and fever in adults and children. Paracetamol is available in a tablet, capsule, liquid suspension, suppository, intravenous, and intramuscular forms. The common adult dose is 500 mg to 1000 mg. The tablets are designed to dissolve or disintegrate rapidly upon contact with saliva to eliminate trouble of digesting – this is ODT (orally disintegrating tablet) property.  Some have the habit of swallowing without taking water which is not advisable. Paracetamol is chemically 4-hydroxyacetanilide, is a centrally and peripherally acting non-opioid analgesic and antipyretic.  

Though some tend to supplement one with another, the following are some of the brand names of the same drug, manufactured and marketed by different companies in India.  They are : Calpol, Crocin,  Cetanil, Cemol, Disprin, Dolo, Febrex,  Lotemp, Thermol, Taurpol, Ultragin, Paxol,  Pacimol, Metacin  and much more…….  There are many bulk manufacturers and other product makers.  Globally, Panadol is the, GlaxoSmithKline trade name for the pharmaceutical paracetamol.  In many countries, it is marketed under various trade names which include : Crocin, Dolex, Panado, Tylenol, Acamol. Though this is an OTC - ‘medicines are safe only when prescribed and self-medication is often dangerous’.  Always believe your Physician who is better qualified to diagnose and treat human health through study.  Leave the job to the specialists is what they say…………  now read this article in Daily Mail

Shoppers in desperate hunt for paracetamol as supermarkets and chemists run out after India restricted exports of painkiller to UK amid coronavirus pandemic.  There are fears that Paracetamol could run out in the UK within days during the coronavirus outbreak.  MailOnline reports that desperate shoppers all over the UK are hunting for paracetamol with supermarkets and chemists facing running out of the painkiller by this weekend amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Exports of the world's most popular painkiller, which the government is advising Brits to use to combat the symptoms of the killer virus, are being restricted by India while production in China dries up. Indian authorities fear a shortage of paracetamol in their own country and have restricted its export to the rest of the world, along with several other drugs. The nation leans on China for almost 70 per cent of the ingredients in its drugs, with the outbreak of the virus leading to significant supply issues.  This has also affected the NHS and UK pharmacies, with India being one of the main suppliers of its generic drugs.

Shoppers were pictured queuing up outside chemists around Britain, with people in Reading adhering to social distancing rules as they waited.  It is reported that several UK companies produce paracetamol to supply to businesses but rely on imported materials in from Asia. Unlike over-the-counter medicines, paracetamol 'is not price controlled' and therefore the cost has increased, it  added.   NHS however stated that the  UK is well prepared to deal with any impacts of the coronavirus outbreak and we have central stockpiles of commonly used drugs like paracetamol. Earlier this week, it advised people to use the painkiller instead of ibuprofen, admitting it did not yet know whether ibuprofen worsened the impact of Covid-19.

The coronavirus outbreak has led to a slew of supply issues. Paracetamol is one of them, with fears the supply of the popular drug could run out in the UK.   India and China, the two countries are believed to supply 80 per cent of Europe's medical material. Ingredients are cheaper and manufacturing is subject to fewer regulations in both countries, making them an attractive choice. The raw main ingredient of paracetamol is also mainly manufactured in China. But with the virus hitting Chinese manufacturers, India have decided to limit exports of its supply to protect citizens, as it relies on China for about 70 per cent of all materials. Amid the current crisis, the EU is thought to be examining its dependence on drugs from the two countries. However, their cheapness and the cost of opening up new facilities in the UK and Europe to produce the materials makes it a difficult change.

Sandra Gidley, RPS President, told MailOnline today: 'Pharmacies are experiencing much higher demand for paracetamol than usual, with people buying in supplies in preparation for any period of self-isolation they may face. 'Pharmacies have been told that they can now break down larger packs of paracetamol, usually only available on prescription, to prepare smaller packs for people who need them.

'It is important that everyone remembers to only request what they need and not to stockpile medicines as this makes it difficult for others and creates the very shortages people are worried about.'

Interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
24.3.2020.

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