CEBU, Philippines – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Central Visayas set a limit on purchases of over-the-counter cough and fever-reducing drugs, through a joint memorandum issued with the Department of Health (DOH) on Monday, January 17.
Currently, the DTI is limiting the quantity that an individual or household can purchase of the following drugs:
- Phenylephrine hydrochloride, chlorphenamine maleate, paracetamol
Joint Memorandum Circular No. 22-01 was released to the media on Tuesday, January 18.
Since the first week of 2022, supplies of over-the-counter medicine for fever, colds, and cough have been almost depleted in Cebu City and province due to the Omicron variant-driven COVID-19 surge.
There has also been an uptick in people reporting flu-like symptoms in the region and who are not necessarily testing for the coronavirus, driving up the demand for these medications even more.
Cebu City COVID-19’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) initially sent a letter dated January 10 to DTI requesting they help stop the hoarding of these medications.
“It is the request of Cebu City EOC that the stocks for purchase of these life-saving medications be regulated accordingly so as to prevent hoarding and reselling at higher prices. This is to facilitate those who are in immediate need of these specific medications,” the letter read.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Department of Health-Central Visayas reported 22 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Omicron variant in the island.
Before this, Cebu City recorded its highest positivity rate of 43.03% on January 16. On January 15, the city recorded 505 new cases of COVID-19 in a single day.
DTI also urged the public to consider the generic brands of over-the-counter flu and fever medications.
In the letter to the EOC, the department also assured the city government that they are in communication with drug manufacturers to ensure there would be enough supply of these medications. – Rappler.com