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Adult Medicines Now Running Out as Children’s Medication Shortages Worsen

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Canada is now shortages not only in children’s medication but in adult medication as well. They mainly include children’s pain and fever medication and other over-the-counter medication. This is leading to multiple patients coming to the emergency room for an illness that could have been treated at home.

Industry experts have stated that hundreds of medications are either completely out of stock or running low. These include adult cough and cold syrup, children’s allergy medication, some oral antibiotics, and even some eye drops. Pam Kennedy, pharmacist, and owner of the Bridgewater Guardian Pharmacy on Nova Scotia’s South Shore, said, “It continues to get worse. The pharmacy teams are working hard to try to find other options for patients, but that’s becoming increasingly difficult.”

She added that some brands have said these shortages could last early into 2023. Nearly a third of prescription drugs are on backorder.

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These drug shortages in Canada started in Spring as an increasing number of children were bring admitting to hospitals due to respiratory illnesses. These were brought on by the “triple threat” of influenza, RSV, and COVID-19. Children’s hospitals across Ontario are getting overwhelmed in dealing with patients and staff shortages. Not just the triple threat, the lingering supply chain issues from the pandemic have also caused shortages at drugstores.

Fort McMurray-Cold Lake MP Laila Goodridge said that she hasn’t seen some of these medications on shelves since May in her community. This is even more concerning because the nearest children’s hospital is about five hours away. According to reports, 800 drugs are currently in short supply in Canada out of which 23 are considered critical. Notably, Health Canada has arranged to import some acetaminophen and ibuprofen products from the United States and Australia.

People are being forced to travel across provinces to get the medicines they need. Those living near the US border are driving down to drugstores that are, for now, packed with these medicines.

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