The production of Panadol, a vital over-the-counter medication, has been suspended, according to Pakistan’s biggest pharmaceutical company, which issued the declaration on Friday.
The Pakistan branch of a British multinational pharmaceutical announced in a filing to the Pakistan Stock Exchange that it has stopped producing Panadol Tablets, Panadol Extra Tablets, and Children’s Panadol Liquid Range, claiming that it has become unprofitable to produce the affordable medication due to significant losses.
The development comes amid a severe shortage of Panadol in the market across different cities in Pakistan which has only worsened amid a dengue outbreak after deadly floods.
The pharmaceutical giant, which produced over 450 million pills a month ago, announced a production slowdown after determining it was no longer cost-effective. The company now claims it is “forced to declare force majeure” in a regulatory filing to PSX.
It also mentioned that the incumbent authorities have not allowed an increase despite several appeals amid financial plights.
The company said that despite its best attempts to resolve the issue through communication, it is now out of its control. It also said that the federal government had been advised to maintain pricing despite an extraordinary and sudden rise in the price of raw materials.
Additionally, it urged the authorities to act quickly to adjust the prices of the affected Panadol product line to reflect the rise in the cost of the affected raw material.
One of the company’s high officials also recalled that despite suffering losses, the pharmaceutical behemoth generated about 5,400 million Panadol 500mg and Panadol Extra tablets in the previous year.
Paracetamol is among the top-selling medicines, with demand for the drug being the highest in wake of rising cases of mosquito-borne diseases, especially dengue fever and malaria, as cash strapped country struggles with the effects of the devastating floods.