Faster than merchants can keep it stocked, potassium iodide (KI), the so-called “anti-radiation” pill, is flying off drugstore shelves in the U.S., especially along the West Coast. One supplier, Nukepills.com, reportedly sold out its entire supply of 250,000 pills over the weekend and has back-ordered another 1 million pills. The KI was purchased by pharmacies, corporations, hospitals and nuclear labs serving Americans who, in spite of assurances by the U.S. government that its citizens are safe, fear that radiation from the damaged Japanese nuclear reactors will travel across the Pacific Ocean and contaminate them and their families. A company spokesman told the Wall Street Journal that Nukepills has donated 50,000 pills to Japan.

Only two U.S. companies are approved by the FDA to manufacture KI. The other producer, Virginia-based Anbex Inc., is reported to have sold its entire supply of 10,000 packages, each containing 14 pills and selling for $10, on Saturday. Anbex says their offices are getting about three orders per minute for their KI pills, sold under the brand name of Iosat.

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