A plunge on medicine supplies has left NSW/Victoria Border region chemists with bare shelves and sparked fears of a repeat of the great Aussie toilet paper panic.
Pharmacy Guild representative for Goulburn Valley and North East Victoria Bruce Robertson said chemists were experiencing a product run on two fronts - COVID and flu medicine.
"Demand for cold and flu medicine has been through the roof, many people are stocking up," Mr Robertson said.
"It's a double whammy - COVID and, now, flu. Because people were wearing masks during the pandemic, now that they're not wearing masks, with their immunity down, they are susceptible to it.
"It's kids more so than adults. Adults tend to retain their immunity but not so much with kids so that's why people are buying up on kids' medicine."
"We're aware that some people might want to stock up on certain types of medicine when they see a shortage but we don't allow people to buy up in bulk," Mr Litchfield said.
"Since winter started we've noticed a big demand for cold medicines, especially Nurofen. I'm not sure exactly why, but that one is very hard to get hold of.
"But we have had a surge in all sorts of cold and cough medicine over the past few weeks."
Albury pharmacist Amanda Ward, of Amcal Award in busy Dean Street, said she had to deal with people rushing to get free flu jabs, and now there was "a huge demand" for cold medicine.
"It's very much like what happened with the toilet paper a year or so ago when people were madly stocking up on that," Ms Ward said.
"You would think people would buy just enough for themselves, but they feel the need to stock up.
"There has definitely been a spike in flu and colds this year, and it's indirectly related to COVID because of the mask issue."
Ms Ward said once the masks came off, there was an influx of sniffling, coughing customers.
"Before people were wearing masks, if they walked past someone who coughed on the street and got a drop, that would be enough to build up an immunity," she said.
"But when they were wearing masks they would get nothing, so their immune systems have ended up very weak.
"It's not just kids' medicine, it's across the board, all medicines.
"Suppliers can't get the stock."
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