(File photo)

(Ed's note: The original photo used in this story has been replaced. The previous photo blurred the brand name but was still not the paracetamol in question. Our apologies.) 

MANILA – The Valenzuela City Business Inspection and Audit Team (CBIAT) has started to crack down on stores that are selling counterfeit medicines.

On Friday, the CBIAT ordered a sari-sari (retail) store in Barangay Malinta to immediately close down after it was proven that it sold fake paracetamol tablets.

The city government reminded the public to be vigilant when buying medicines.

"Ang mga gamot ay dapat binibili lamang sa mga lehitimo at awtorisadong botika upang makasiguro na orihinal ang mga ito (Medicines should only be bought in legitimate and authorized pharmacies to ensure its authenticity)," the city warned in an advisory.

Paracetamol alleviates mild or moderate pain, such as headaches or toothache, and reduces high temperature (fever).

As Covid-19 cases rise, the demand for paracetamol grew, with some drug stores running out of stock of the popular brands.

The Food and Drug Administration earlier warned the public against counterfeit pharmaceutical products that have flooded the market, saying fake medicines are "unverified and questionable" and "may cause serious adverse health consequences, another disease, drug resistance, or worst, death."

Meanwhile, Mayor Rex Gatchalian remained in isolation due to Covid-19 while his brother, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, announced Friday that he also tested positive. (PNA)