The Queensland brand has been making the product for over 100 years, but has never enjoyed success quite like it is at the moment. The brand’s Brisbane factory is currently churning out 40,000 tubes and 15,000 tubs every single day just to keep up with demand.
According to A Current Affair, China, with its customer base of 1.3 billion, is partly to thank.
The product has reached “cult status” in Asia, attracting celebrity endorsements and praise from beauty bloggers due to its quality, versatility and, crucially, the fact that it’s made in Australia.
However, ACA claims that the market is largely being fuelled by Australian-based customers who buy the product in bulk and ship it overseas, as the product has not yet been approved by Chinese health authorities.
The programme spoke to a handful pharmacies that have been forced to limit the number of tubes sold to each customer as a result.
“These restrictions came into place because most of us didn’t anticipate the demand that is coming out of China,” said Peter Yousef, boss of online chemist Ureeka.
In a statement to A Current Affair, Lucas’ Papaw Remedies said products purchased online and not through approved distributors or retailers can not be guaranteed authentic.
“Unfortunately, we have no control over individuals purchasing Lucas’ Papaw Ointment in Australia (or approved countries) and personally selling the product elsewhere,” the statement read. “We do not encourage this practice, and our product is for sale for individual use only.”