France suspends internet sales of paracetamol as stocks dwindle

Issuance of:

The French government on Wednesday announced an effective ban on internet sales of all paracetamol-based pain relievers until the end of January. , has been in short supply for the past six months.

the last few months, National Drug Safety Agency (ANSM) has asked French pharmacies to limit the amount of paracetamol sold to individual customers.

According to an official statement announcing the ban on internet sales, “despite the success of that initiative,” “health authorities have been unable to overcome the shortage of paracetamol.”

Online sales of paracetamol are therefore prohibited until the end of this month.

In December Health Minister François Brown, warned that even with tight controls on over-the-counter sales of paracetamol, the supply situation remains complex. Brown said it was unlikely to be resolved “for a few weeks.”

China, which recently lifted its strict Covid lockdown and ended the implementation of its zero-infection policy, now has millions of patients requesting paracetamol pain relievers to treat Covid symptoms.

As such, Beijing has banned the export of paracetamol, effectively cutting off the supply of the active ingredient in pain relievers to pharmaceutical companies around the world.

Similar supply problems involving Chinese drug wholesalers have led to shortages of other common treatments, particularly the antibiotic amoxicillin.

There is also a shortage of insulin, which is used to treat diabetes.

Global sales of paracetamol have increased 13% since the Covid pandemic began.

Negative effects of the Covid pandemic

Local production of amoxicillin was allowed to slow down dramatically during the Covid crisis due to low demand for the drug normally used to treat infections that were less prevalent during the coronavirus surge. Faced with the triple threat of influenza, Covid and childhood respiratory infection bronchiolitis this winter, the factory’s production lines had to be restarted quickly.

The French government has pledged to find alternative sources of raw materials to manufacture the popular remedy and resolve the current shortage “in the coming weeks or months.”

The Minister recognizes that the current supply crisis highlights the need for France to achieve autonomy in the production of pharmaceutical raw materials.

The Senate, a group of Communist senators in the French Senate, has pledged to set up a commission of inquiry to find out why many important medicines are “30 times scarcer in the last decade”. France suspends internet sales of paracetamol as stocks dwindle

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