One thing that the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak has hit hard, asides from our general health and well-being, is the economy. The most tangible aspect of this can be seen in how factories in countries that are most widely affected by the outbreak have had to cease production temporarily to prevent the spread of the virus. As a consequence, we may be facing some dire circumstances, reports the New Straits Times.
Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society president Amrahi Buang warns that while the situation in Malaysia may be under control, we could be facing a shortage of many generic drugs and medication should the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak become “pandemic and uncontrollable”.
This applies especially to China and India, where China produces most of the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) used in drugs, while India, who is the world’s main supplier of generic medicines, restricted exports of 26 ingredients and medicines.
One of the drugs that is being restricted is paracetamol, arguably the most widely used painkiller in Malaysia.
As over 70% of our medicines are imported and not locally manufactured, the closure of these factories would lead to a shortage of medication available in Malaysia, leading to further increased morbidity and mortality. Hospitals and clinics are now advised to conduct stock checks to ensure that enough medication remains for use.
While this may be a precautionary warning, do not take this as your green-light to start hoarding all sorts of medication at the pharmacy!
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