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Supply of medicine containing paracetamol remains stable
     ​A Government spokesman today (January 2) said that the supply of medicine containing paracetamol in Hong Kong remains stable. The public need not stockpile the relevant medicine.
     Paracetamol could be used to relieve pain and fever. According to record, there are currently 756 pharmaceutical products containing paracetamol registered in Hong Kong.
     The Government has all along been monitoring the local supply of medicine containing paracetamol and closely communicating with the suppliers, local manufacturers and community pharmacy associations. In view of the recent surge in demand for the relevant medicine, the Department of Health (DH) has put forward a series of measures, including stepped-up inspections at pharmacies and drugstores in the market to inspect the sales and inventory of the relevant medicine. While the tight supply of specific brand of medicine may be due to a surge in demand within a short period, the supply of other brands of medicine for relief of pain and fever is still sufficient. The DH has appealed to large drug retailers to remind customers that they could choose other brands of medicine containing paracetamol if certain brands are out of stock, by arrangements such as posting notices. Besides, the DH has also requested local manufactures association to appeal to their members to increase the production of products containing paracetamol to meet the anticipated demand of the local market. In addition, the DH has contacted the Customs and Excise Department to strengthen publicity at the control points to remind travellers of the regulations on bringing a reasonable quantity of medicine for their personal use.
     The Government stressed that the public healthcare system has sufficient stock of medicine containing paracetamol. In fact, before the outbreak of the COVID-19, the public healthcare system usually reserves medicine containing paracetamol to meet the normal daily use for one to two months. Since the epidemic, the Government has proactively stepped up the procurement and stockpiling of relevant medicine to meet the actual needs of the community. The current stock level of the relevant medicine in the public healthcare system can meet the normal daily use for about five to six months, which is completely enough for the public healthcare system to take care of its patients' needs (including COVID-19 patients who receive treatment at the designated clinics of the Hospital Authority and via its tele-consultation services). The Government is also planning to press ahead the procurement of a considerable amount of relevant medicine for stockpiling. The Government will, with regard to the actual situation and need, reserve the additional stock of medicine for patients who are in need but have not received public healthcare services, such as low-income families who may not be able to afford medicine expenses, as well as members of the public who are not able to buy the relevant medicine due to regional shortages, etc.
     Members of the public can search the database of registered pharmaceutical products with English product names or ingredients via the search engine in the website of the Drug Office, DH: www.drugoffice.gov.hk/eps/do/en/consumer/search_drug_database.html.
     The Government spokesman urged members of the public again to avoid stockpiling any medicines including those containing paracetamol. There is also no need for them to panic buy certain brand of medicine.
Ends/Monday, January 2, 2023
Issued at HKT 11:54
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