Friday, March 20, 2020

Paracetamol, Calpol prices increase at UK pharmacy

Customers have been left "in tears" over soaring prices of paracetamol and Calpol at a pharmacy charging up to £20.

The Birmingham pharmacy has come under fire after bottles of 200ml liquid paracetamol appeared for sale at one branch for about treble the average standard price.

City councillor Majid Mahmood said he had five people from his ward tearfully ringing him up about the rises on Wednesday.

His Bromford and Hodge Hill ward sits in one of the most deprived constituencies in England, with a 2018 study commissioned by the End Child Poverty Coalition finding more than half of children grew up in poverty.

Mr Mahmood posted a photograph on Twitter, taken in the pharmacy, showing the price of 100ml of Calpol as £9.99 and a 200ml bottle listed for £19.99.

At other online retailers - where Calpol has sold out - prices were listed at around £3.49 and £6.49, respectively.

Mr Mahmood added that at the same store, a 32-pack of paracetamol pills which had been £1.39 last week had risen to £9.99.

Jhoots, which runs the site, said in a statement that "disparities" in some branches had stemmed from "an erroneous communication" and it had since taken steps to correct prices.

The business, based in Walsall in the West Midlands, said it would also refund any affected customers and ensure no repeat of the error.

It comes as the pharmacy industry has been warning of how wholesale paracetamol prices have "gone up" in the current climate, due to supplier issues.