Three million packs of paracetamol from India to replenish British supermarkets shelves

After stockpilers emptied paracetamol from shelves of left British supermarket and retailers, Britain has bought around 3,000,000 packs of paracetamol from India.

The Government ordered the huge amount from India, where the drugs are made, who have approved the export of 2,800,000 packets which will be distributed to leading UK supermarkets and retailers.

The shipment followed India's decision to lift export restrictions on essential drugs including s request from the UK government for paracetamol. India produces 5,600 metric tons of paracetamol every month while the domestic requirement is only around 200 metric tons.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson called his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, and requested for this exemption in view of the Covid-19 epidemic. India has lifted restriction and allowed total air shipment of around 45million paracetamol tablets.

Empty supermarket shelves. Credit: PA

The first shipment of around 1.1million packs of Paracetamol tablets to the UK departed Goa airport this week.

Days after India banned the export of pharmaceuticals amid the coronavirus pandemic, it excluded Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) after facing pressure and perhaps a prospect of retaliation by the US and President Donald Trump.

Global rush for HCQ forced India to put restrictions on its export and that of several other drugs on March 25. The only exceptions were on humanitarian grounds or for those who had made their advance payments in full.

Several other countries, including the United Kingdom, expressed their gratitude, earning diplomatic goodwill for New Delhi.

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