'Enormous' run on iodine pills in US: drug firm

Mar 16, 2011

The main US manufacturer of potassium iodide tablets has run out of stock after a massive demand generated by the Japanese nuclear crisis, the company's head said Wednesday.

Anbex was flooded with thousands of orders for its Iosat drug after last Friday's earthquake and tsunami, which has triggered an ongoing crisis at the Fukushima in northeastern Japan.

"The spike is enormous ... we were out of stock by Friday night," said Alan Morris, president of Anbex which supplies the drug to individuals and retailers, including online.

"The demand mostly is coming from the west coast of the US, but there are a significant number of inquiries, requests, orders coming from Japan, Korea, all over the Far East," he told AFP.

Morris said manufacturers hoped to have new stocks of the drug -- which protects against radiation leaked from the Japanese power plant -- ready to ship in about two weeks' time.

His company was the only US manufacturer of potassium in pill form, he said, adding that there was a liquid form available from a company called Fleming Pharmaceuticals.

A statement on the Fleming's website said the firm was "running nearly around the clock as employees ship potassium iodide to Japan."

The run on iodine drugs came as the head of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission warned that there is no water left in the spent fuel pool of reactor 4 at the Fukushima plant, resulting in "extremely high" .

US authorities have repeatedly said there is minimal risk of radioactivity reaching the US mainland, while meteorologists say it is difficult to predict exactly how far a radioactive cloud would spread across the Pacific.

Explore further: New US restrictions on painkiller to take effect

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

US West Coast: on frontline from nuclear cloud?

Mar 14, 2011

California is closely watching the crisis at a Japanese nuclear plant, but officials downplayed the threat that a radioactive cloud blown across the Pacific could pose for the US West Coast.

California 'closely monitoring' Japan nuclear leak

Mar 13, 2011

California is closely monitoring efforts to contain leaks from a quake-damaged Japanese nuclear plant, a spokesman said Saturday, as experts said radiation could be blown out across the Pacific.

WHO says ready to help Japan in nuclear crisis

Mar 15, 2011

The World Health Organization said Tuesday it was ready to help Japan, which is grappling with a nuclear emergency after some reactors were damaged by last week's deadly earthquake.

Health experts sound warning over iodine rush

Mar 15, 2011

Japan's nuclear crisis has sparked panic buying of iodine pills, with online bids exceeding $500 for a single packet, but health experts hosed down the hysteria and warned the pills are of limited use. ...

Fears of health risks rise amid Japan crisis

Mar 15, 2011

(AP) -- Fears about health risks rose dramatically in Japan Tuesday with news of a greater radiation release and renewed warnings to remaining residents within 20 miles to stay indoors.

Recommended for you

Lilly psoriasis drug fares well in late-stage test

2 hours ago

Drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co. said its potential psoriasis treatment fared better than both a fake drug and a competitor's product during late-stage testing on patients with the most common form of the skin disease.

New US restrictions on painkiller to take effect

15 hours ago

The federal government is finalizing new restrictions on hundreds of medicines containing hydrocodone, the highly addictive painkiller that has grown into the most widely prescribed drug in the U.S.

Boxed warnings are common in novel therapeutics

Aug 19, 2014

(HealthDay)—Boxed warnings are common on recent drug approvals, and many occur years after approval, according to a research letter published online Aug. 15 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

User comments : 0