Anti-radiation pills and long storable food is selling out in the United States amid panic buying in response to the potential for the war in Ukraine to escalate to a nuclear conflict.
Manufacturers in the US are reporting depleted inventories of potassium iodide tablets, with IOSAT having sold out of its 14 pack boxes which ordinarily sell for $13.99 on their website. Demand is so high that the same box of pills is now selling for around $149 dollars on eBay. Four boxes of Thyrosafe potassium iodide tablets were also selling for $132.50, while another listing featured a box of IOSAT 130 mg pills costing $89.95 each.
New York-based company Anbex, which supplies the pills to retailers is completely out of stock and won’t have new stock until possibly next month.
“We hope to be back in stock in early April but we’re pushing for late March,” said Troy Jones, vice president of sales and marketing for Anbex.
Jones said demand began to spike in late February and had come from hospitals, municipalities and governments in the aftermath of Russia taking control of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. The last time suppliers experienced similar spikes was back in 2018, when President Donald Trump tweeted he had a “much bigger & more powerful” button than North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un, in addition to the false ballistic missile alert over Hawaii that happened in January of the same year. As we previously highlighted, despite being largely useless in the event of an actual nuclear war (they’re meant to be used to protect against radiation leaks from nuclear plants), Europeans have also been panic buying potassium iodide pills.
The CDC has warned that taking the pills on a regular basis can cause severe illness and death.