NBI: Charges await medicine hoarders, price manipulators

·2 min read

CHARGES await those individuals who will be caught hoarding medicines, particularly influenza medicines, amid the threat of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

This was what Lawyer Rennan Augustus Oliva, director of the National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas (NBI-7), said following the scarcity of supply of basic medicines such as paracetamol in the region, particularly in Cebu as confirmed by the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7).

Oliva said all the bureau's offices in the entire country are on the lookout to catch those medicine hoarders, citing that there may be individuals who would take advantage of the situation.

The regional director emphasized that they have been monitoring not just the hoarding of medicines and oxygen tanks, but also the prices.

Apart from that, they are also looking into the selling of fake medicines, as he recalled in the previous years, when NBI-7 raided several individuals for such illegal activi2ty.

With this, Oliva urged the public to report to their office those who are hoarding and overpricing medicines, as well as those selling fake ones, so that they may be able to take action against it and file the necessary charges.

"So far, wala pata'y nakita ana (we have not seen it yet). We encourage people to report if there are any para ma-aksiyonan dayon (so we could act on it immediately)," he said.

Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, DOH-7 chief pathologist, earlier confirmed the scarcity of supply of basic medicines in the region, but stressed that this may be the situation nationwide.

Loreche said drugstores in the region expressed the same concern, saying they were still waiting for the deliveries to replenish their stocks.

As an alternative, the chief pathologist urged the public to drink turmeric, ginger, lemon, vitamins, and green leafy vegetables while waiting for the medicines to be available at the stores.

The DOH and the Department of Trade and Industry recently issued a joint memorandum circular that enjoins retailers to limit the sales of 500 mg tablets of paracetamol to 20 per person or 60 per household only. (MKG, TPT)

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