Coronavirus: Price-hike pharmacy offers Calpol for £19.99


The calpol prices

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Majid Mahmood


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The pharmacy was selling Calpol for as much as £19.99

A pharmacy which priced bottles of Calpol at £19.99 has been criticised for the “extortionate” move.

A branch of West Midlands-based chain Jhoots had 200ml bottles of the liquid paracetamol advertised at about three times its usual price.

Birmingham councillor Majid Mahmood said people from his Hodge Hill ward had phoned him “in tears” to complain.

Blaming a communication error, Jhoots said it would refund customers and ensure no repeat of the error.

Mr Mahmood posted a photo of the pharmacy shelves on Twitter, which also showed smaller 100ml bottles priced at £9.99.

He also claimed the same shop had been offering a 32-pack of paracetamol at £1.39 a week ago, but was now asking £9.99 for the item.


Jhoots, based in Walsall, said in a statement “disparities” in some branches had stemmed from “an erroneous communication” and it had since taken steps to correct prices.

Pharmacists have warned that wholesale paracetamol prices have gone up amid the coronavirus crisis.

“Business is business, they have to make a profit,” Mr Mahmood said.

“But firms shouldn’t be charging extortionate pricing when you know people are desperate in a national crisis.

“When you’ve got people crying down the phone because they can’t afford Calpol – that’s wrong.”

On Wednesday, the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) said it was taking “an extremely high number of calls” from the public about sales and pricing during the Covid-19 outbreak.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Jhoots said: “We have acted immediately and conducted a thorough investigation into this matter and have found that following an erroneous communication, price increases were made at branch level.

“In order to rectify the issue we will make full refunds to our customers affected by this and have taken all appropriate action to ensure that this does not happen again.”


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