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France places temporary ban on online paracetamol sales

Supplies of the medication have been under strain for the past six months

France has banned online sales of paracetamol until January 31 Pic: Pixavril / Shutterstock

France’s government has temporarily banned the sale of paracetamol-based products online as supply shortages continue. 

This was confirmed by a decree published in the government’s legal publication Le Journal officiel today (January 4).

Stocks of paracetamol products have been under strain for the past six months, especially with regards to children’s medicines.

“The different measures taken by the health authorities, as effective as they have been, have not been able to put an end to [the shortages],” the decree stated. 

The ban is due to last until January 31, 2023.

France’s Agence nationale de sécurité du médicament has been asking pharmacies to ration the amount of paracetamol they sell to each patient for the past six months.  

Read also: Paracetamol shortage: France limits sales to two boxes per patient

In December, the health ministry warned that despite the rationing measures taken, the situation remained “complex”, and it has now been made worse by the fact that Covid case numbers have surged in China, and the Chinese government has banned paracetamol product exports. 

China normally produces a significant proportion of the active ingredient used in paracetamol production by laboratories across the world. 

In France, paracetamol products often come under the Doliprane, Sanofi and Dafalgan brand names.

This comes as France struggles with shortages concerning 277 different medications, including the antibiotic amoxicillin.

Read more: Common antibiotic joins list of 277 drugs in short supply in France

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