Japan govt asks drugstores to prevent bulk purchases of fever reducers

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A half-empty shelf of a popular painkiller is seen at a drugstore in Taito Ward, Tokyo, on Dec. 24.

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry has asked drugstores and pharmacies to take measures to prevent customers from buying large quantities of over-the-counter fever reducers, as many Chinese people have been making bulk purchases, amid the rapid rise of coronavirus infections.

The ministry has sent the notice to the Japan Chain Stores Association and the Japan Pharmaceutical Association, among other organizations. It asks drugstores and pharmacies to set a limit on how many a person can buy and prevent frequent purchases.

According to the ministry, customers are purchasing large quantities of such over-the-counter medicines as fever reducers and cold medicines, which are typically used by COVID patients. There is still a stable supply of these medicines, however, if people continue to purchase these types of drugs in bulk, it could lead to a shortage.

As a number of Chinese people have been purchasing large quantities of cold medicines and other drugs in Japan for their friends and families in China, where the coronavirus is rapidly spreading, the possibility of a shortage is becoming a cause for concern.