Americans are reportedly panic-buying potassium iodide tablets because of fears the Russian war on Ukraine will result in nuclear fallout.
Attacks on Ukrainian nuclear plants and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to put nuclear forces on alert appear to be driving demand for the tablets.
Manufacturer IOSAT said it is sold out of its $14 packs and identical tablets are on sale for a whopping $149 on eBay, according to the Daily Mail.
“We anticipate to be restocked after mid-March,” IOSAT said on its website.
When used as directed, the tablets can prevent the thyroid from absorbing radioactive iodine.
However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says taking too many of the tablets can cause severe disease and death.
Panic buying of the tablets has occurred before, notably after the 2011 tsunami that damaged the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan. Retailers such as Whole Foods posted warnings next to the product at the time.
The Daily Mail pointed to social media posts from “doomsday preppers” who said they stock up because of the ongoing war.