The Covid-19 pandemic has sparked a surge in demand for vitamin supplements in Ireland, according to new data. United Drug, Ireland’s largest pharmaceutical wholesaler, found immunity-boosting ranges of vitamin supplements such as vitamin C, vitamin D and zinc recorded a 142 per cent increase between March and July this year compared to the same period in 2019. Recent studies in Ireland have urged the widespread use of vitamin D supplements to help fight Covid-19 infection.

The data revealed the sales of vitamin groups including children’s vitamins (108 per cent), multivitamins (69 per cent) and women’s health (23 per cent) also increased significantly during the lockdown period. While joint care products increased by 46 per cent, food supplement and weight management products sales decreased by 83 per cent and 41 per cent, respectively.

Commenting on findings, Mr Denis O’Driscoll, pharmacist at United Drug, said: “Vitamins can play a pivotal role in fighting viral infections and the demand both from pharmacies and consumers during the height of the health crisis was unprecedented. Ireland is not alone in seeing this spike, with other countries, including the US, seeing a similar trend.

“We saw a 500 per cent increase in demand for some vitamin products, highlighting how consumer behaviour reacted to the pandemic… Irish consumers will continue to look at ways to boost their overall health and wellbeing, with vitamin supplements considered to be one avenue to help achieve this.”

United Drug is the largest supplier of medicines to community pharmacists and hospitals in Ireland and is part of
the McKesson Corporation, a global leader in healthcare whose Irish operations includes United Drug, Lloyds Pharmacy, TCP Homecare and Median Healthcare.