Nationwide paracetamol shortage forces pharmacists to ration the drug

Hands holding analgesic medicine scattered with business financial crisis
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Pharmacists are being asked to ration over-the-counter paracetamol due to a nationwide shortage of the medicine. 

The Government's drug-buying agency, Pharmac, is asking for the sale of 500mg tablet blister packs to be limited, due to a significant demand for the product. 

Monthly, a maximum of 300 tablets can be dispensed per prescription and a maximum of 100 tablets can be dispensed to patients without a prescription.

Acute patients, or people with chronic conditions, can access up to 240 tablets per month if a doctor or pharmacist authorises it.

Every pharmacist has the authority to dispense less than the required amount to ensure there is enough stock to go around, a Pharmac spokesperson said.

The stock shortage is caused by the global supply not being able to meet the demand.

Pharmac is working closely with the supplier API to ensure the available stock is best managed. 

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