Tokyo shops limit cold medicine purchases as Chinese buyers empty stocks amid Covid-19 wave
- Dispensaries in Tokyo are running low on cold antidotes as customers from China snap up supplies
- A wave of infections is spreading across China after it abruptly abandoned its zero-Covid policy, triggering shortages of fever drugs
Dispensaries in the Japanese capital say they are running low on cold antidotes, including the popular variety Pabron Gold A, because of depleting stocks.
Customers cannot buy more than one box at some shops, where they also have to present an empty carton from the shelf to the register to get the medication.
She spent about 20,000 yen (US$150) on dozens of packs of cold medicine and painkillers.
A representative of a pharmacy chain said though Japanese were also emptying store shelves, there had been a visible rise this month of buyers reportedly from China stockpiling as many boxes of cold medicine as they could.
“We are considering raising prices to avert a situation where people in need won’t be able to buy the medicine,” an official said, adding some shops ran out of products before the limits were announced.
The company that makes Pabron said its drug drew praise on Chinese social media platforms for the brand’s efficacy in easing Covid symptoms. It added Pabron’s production would be boosted to keep pace with demand.