Manila, Philippines – Despite the Philippine government’s announcement that there is no drug shortage in the country, presidential aspirant Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday, January 9, urged the government to contact pharmaceutical companies and pharmacies to ensure access to basic over-the-counter medicine for Filipinos.
This was her statement amid denials by the Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) that there is a shortage of paracetamol in primary drugstores across the country.
Filipinos complained on social media of the long lines and queues at pharmacies, as well as the lack of paracetamol and other basic flu drugs. Some traveled from the provinces to Metro Manila to line up for hours.
Robredo said on her weekly radio show on dzXL that ensuring the supply of paracetamols to pharmacies is “basic.”
“Dapat tinutukan na ito ng pamahalaan, [The government must focus on this,]” said the Vice President.
“Dapat ‘yung pamahalaan nakikipag-ugnayan na sa mga pharmacies, sa mga drugstore owners, mga drug companies kung papa’no mape-prevent itong pagkukulang na ‘to, [The government should be in contact with pharmacies, drugstore owners, drug companies on how to prevent this shortcoming]” she added.
The presidential aspirant shrugged off the DOH statement that there was no such deficiency, and said the deficit incidents were “experiential.”
“Ang tanong ko lang: bakit nangyayari ito sa atin, [My only question is: why is this happening to us]” Robredo said.
Pharmaceutical companies have previously promised to restock paracetamol and other basic drugs in stores.