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Panic buying hits supply of antivirals, oximeters, Health News, ET HealthWorld

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Gurgaon: Panic buying hits supply of antivirals, oximetersGurgaon: Panic buying and hoarding have created a shortage of common medicines that are being increasingly used by Covid patients in home isolation. Not just drugs such as Fabiflu and Doxycycline, oximeters and vaporisers are also vanishing off the counters amid allegations that even those who do not have any symptoms are hoarding them at home.

Chemists across the city said since a majority of patients were in home isolation, they were resorting to self-medication and following unverified information being circulated on social media.

According to the Gurgaon chemist and druggist association (GCDA), recent restrictions imposed by the Delhi government on supply of medicines to other states had an effect on stocks in the city. “Earlier, we would get some of the antiviral drugs from Delhi. Now, we have been getting limited supply of medicines from Ambala and Panipat. This has hit the supply of drugs in our city,” said Sharad Mehrotra, president of the association.

He added that panic buying also played a key role in creating the shortage. “Many people with mild symptoms or no symptoms at all are hoarding the medicines. Some of them are not even consulting a doctor,” Mehrotra said.

The owner of a medicine shop in the city said the panic buying was also the result of unverified information being circulated on social media. “Many salts, including plain Zinc, Fabiflu, Favipiravir, Tamiflu, Doxycycline, Ivermectin and Vitamin C, are not available in the market because demand for these medicines exceeds the supply by far. The stocks of these medicines are fast running out,” said Jatin, owner of Gurunanak Medicos.

Oximeters and vaporisers are also in short supply. Doctors said while oximeters help keep track of a person’s oxygen level, vaporisers help clear the airways and assist in breathing. Vitamins and zinc are important to keep the immunity at peak.

The shortage has obviously led to black-marketing. “Oximeters and thermometers are selling at the rate of knots. Right now, I do not have oximeters in my shop. There is a good 60-70% shortage in supply. This was not the case last year,” said Satish Mittal, a medicine supplier in the city.

Those who are in dire need of the medicines are bearing the brunt. “I had to go to at least 10 shops to buy a pack of Deksel syrup and Zincovit tablets,” said Surender Singh, who stays in Sector 4.


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