SEOUL, Mar. 20 (Korea Bizwire) — A prolonged shortage of aspirin is expected to continue for the foreseeable future in South Korea, as Bayer Korea has confirmed it could be later this year at the earliest before the tablet drug hits the shelves again.
Plans to resume the sale of Bayer’s 500-milligram aspirin tablets this month have been scrapped due to manufacturing relocation and supply issues, dragging down the production process, according to industry sources.
“With the manufacturing plant having moved to Germany from Indonesia, preparation work for production such as arranging facilities is being prolonged. Supply could be back to normal sometime in the second half of this year at the earliest,” an official at Bayer Korea said.
Sales of the pain relief medication have been halted for over a year at South Korean pharmacies, ever since the pharmaceutical giant recalled the tablets in December 2016 after discovering the dissolution rate of its 500-milligram tablet failed to meet the standard set by the Korea Food and Drug Administration.
The dissolution rate of a drug refers to a rate at which active pharmaceutical ingredients dissolve after being taken orally.
With the medicine having been out of stock for months, a growing number of customers have kept in touch with the company to ask about supply resumption, particularly those who prefer aspirin over others, Bayer Korea said. This is despite the fact that there are a variety of anti-inflammatory drug and painkiller alternatives available in the market.
The company has also disregarded growing concerns over the supply of low-dose aspirin.
“The issue is only limited to the 500-milligram tablet, which is used for pain relief and anti-inflammatory effect, not the Aspirin Protect Tab (the 100-milligram tablet) for prevention of cardiovascular disorders, which is available,” the official said.
Both Bayer Aspirin 500 mg tablet and 100 mg tablet consist of the same ingredients and are only different in dose, with the latter being used to prevent cardiovascular disorders, typically among seniors.