Radiation Fear Drives Demand for Potassium Iodide in the U.S.


The dire happenings in Japan with the looming threat of radiation leakage have had an immediate effect in the U.S. There is a surging demand for potassium iodide, which can give protection from thyroid cancer caused by radiation. Pharma company Recipharm says it has sold more potassium iodide in three days than in the last three years.

No Need to Fear
Some orders are being sent to individuals and companies in Japan. Potassium Iodide (KI) ensures that the thyroid gland does not retain radioactive iodine if it is ingested or inhaled. But, health experts say Americans do not have to fear about the radiation leakage in Japan.

Sold Out
This advice has not stopped the surging sales of potassium iodide. Pharma company Anbex, which sells KI tablets named Iosat on its Web site, reported that it is “completely out”. The company is gearing up to increase supply. Recipharm is not taking any more orders for its KI tablets named Thyrosafe. Fleming Pharmaceuticals is also shipping its ThyroShield syrup as fast as possible to meet surging demand.

West Coast Radiation Fears

Many West Coast drugstores reveal that they are being besieged by KI requests. Many people are even willing to pay in advance. But, health experts say in some cases, KI pills could cause allergic reactions or hyperthyroidism.

Government Policy
According to a Congress legislation, the U.S. government is required to provide KI pills to people living in the vicinity of nuclear plants. Some states have obliged and others have stockpiled KI pills for these people. Some experts say KI pills must be distributed in advance to people living near nuclear plants. They say it is a common sense measure to tackle emergencies. Meanwhile, the U.S. government is keenly watching the crisis in Japan and will formulate a policy regarding KI distribution.

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