Chinese localities distribute free drugs to the public, split packages to meet surging demand amid COVID-19 flare-ups
Published: Dec 22, 2022 01:24 AM
The photo taken on December 14, 2022 shows a pharmacy in Beijing. Photo: VCG

The photo taken on December 14, 2022 shows a pharmacy in Beijing. Photo: VCG

With the continuous optimization and adjustment of China's epidemic prevention and control policy, many cities across the country have begun to distribute free drugs including cold and fever medicines to the public and implemented open package dispensing, in a bid to meet spiking demand.

The market regulator in Sanya, South China's Hainan Province organized a total of 18 pharmacies and called for more pharmacies to join the free distribution of fever-reducing drugs. From Wednesday, the administration distributed the first batch of 73,030 fever-reducing pills to local residents, with those in need able to access medication at a nearby pharmacy.

Dongguan in South China's Guangdong Province said that a total of 100,000 ibuprofen tablets had arrived in the city, and will be distributed to 41 state drug stores before Thursday this week, before being made available free of charge for those in need.

In addition, a number of cities including Zhengzhou, Shangqiu and Zhoukou also handed out anti-epidemic drugs to the market. The department of epidemic prevention and control in Zhoukou has purchased a batch of ibuprofen tablets, saying that from Wednesday, they have entrusted a number of pharmacies with the free distribution of 130,000 tablets, and residents who present an ID card are eligible for 10 tables per day.

Shangqiu's market regulator also commissioned a pharmacy to urgently coordinate a batch of ibuprofen tablets, and scheduled free distribution of 48,000 tablets across 43 stores from Thursday. Each person with a valid ID card will receive four tablets.

Thanks to various measures taken by the government and pharmaceutical companies, the shortage of anti-virus medicines is starting to ease. The National Medical Products Administration said on Tuesday that it has increased support for the market supply of medications related to the epidemic, including guiding pharmaceutical companies to conduct research in accordance with regulations and expand production capacity in an orderly manner.

In Wuhan, Central China's Hubei Province, 3 million ibuprofen tablets have been supplied to medical institutions and retail pharmacies each day since December 17.

In addition to ensure the efficient supply of drugs, some localities have decided to sell much needed medicines, including fever-reducing pills and antigen detection reagents, in small batches to ensure more people can access treatment.

The market regulator in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province published on Wednesday an announcement about splitting packages of fever-reducing drugs containing ibuprofen as well as antigen detection reagents into small batches to sell to more people.

Each customer can purchase antipyretic drugs for no more than a 3-day supply, and antigen testing reagents for no more than five people, the announcement read.

Hubei Province has also encouraged drug retailers to split packages of antipyretic and analgesic drugs into smaller doses, in order to meet public demand and avoid waste.

Global Times