Saturday, September 10, 2022

Is there a shortage of cetamol in the market with the increase in dengue infection?

Is there a shortage of cetamol in the market with the increase in dengue infection?

Dengue infection is increasing rapidly in major urban areas including Kathmandu. Most of the hospitals in Kathmandu have started filling up with dengue patients. As there is no specific treatment or medicine against dengue, medicine is given according to the symptoms. Paracetamol is given to eat especially because of high fever in dengue infection.

Now, with the increase in dengue infection, the demand for paracetamol in the market is high. However, it seems that there is a shortage of paracetamol in most places. A drug distributor admits that with the increase in cases of dengue and viral fever, Cetamol is not available in the market to meet the demand. According to him, there is a high demand for Citamol in the market. But the production is not proportionate to that. However, some have complained that Cetamol is artificially lacking. According to them, when the epidemic increases, then the businessmen cause a shortage of Citamol.

Cetamol is listed as an essential medicine. Similarly, it is number two in the list of medicines that the government distributes free of cost to health institutions.

A few years ago, the government had stipulated that one tablet of Cetamol should not be charged more than one rupee. But the distributor claims that there may be a shortage in the market because the pharmaceutical manufacturers' association says that there will be a loss when making Citamol with an MRP of one rupee. Drug manufacturers and businessmen have been demanding time and again that the price of Citamol should be adjusted.

Pharmacists say that the production capacity should be increased by adjusting the price of Cetamol, which has become mandatory in every household.

"Cetamol is not being produced as per the demand," says Santosh KC, Information Officer of the Drug Administration Department, "but there is no shortage in the market."

He says that the government is positive about adjusting the price of Citamol according to the demand of drug manufacturers. However, when the epidemic is on the rise, KC says that no action has been taken because the public will be killed when new prices are set.

"There is a plan to adjust the price taking into account the scientific facts and the increase in the price of international raw materials at the appropriate time," he says. KC says that the department has informed the pharmaceutical manufacturers' association to balance the distribution and production so as not to cause a shortage of Cetamol for the time being.

"As soon as there is a rumor that there will be a shortage of medicine, people tend to buy it and hoard it at home," he said.

Prajwaljung Pandey, president of the Pharmaceutical Producers' Association, also said that the government has not shown any interest in adjusting the prices of medicines, so there is no production as per the demand. "When there is a lack of cetamol, the product comes out, when no one shows interest in it. The pricing of 2064 cannot work now," he says. "We have been requesting the government to adjust the prices many times. But he didn't show much interest.

He says that he stopped importing from India because it was cheaper. "Some big companies and old companies are making it in terms of community responsibility, so the product is not according to the demand," says Pandey.

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