Advertisement

Federal kids’ painkiller shipment hitting shelves in Saskatchewan

Click to play video: 'Imported painkiller shipment hitting shelves in Saskatchewan'
Imported painkiller shipment hitting shelves in Saskatchewan
WATCH: Some of the million units of children’s acetaminophen and ibuprofen imported by the federal government are now on pharmacy shelves in Saskatchewan – Nov 25, 2022

Some of the million units of children’s acetaminophen and ibuprofen imported by the federal government are now on pharmacy shelves in Saskatchewan.

In an emailed statement, Health Canada said “the distribution details specific to SK or any other province or territory are not known yet” but federal health minister Minister Jean-Yves Duclos confirmed during a Friday morning press conference that “distribution is currently underway across Canada.”

Pharmacy Association of Saskatchewan CEO Michael Fougere, meanwhile, confirmed that some Saskatchewan pharmacies now have kids painkillers in stock, but did not reveal where the shipments ended up.

“I can’t give details as to which locations but there definitely will be supplies across the province,” he said.

“There’s equitability to this. It is on a fair basis that it’s not just one area, it is spread across the province.”

Story continues below advertisement

Read more: Kids’ pain meds: Canada to get 500K additional units in coming weeks

Read next: Hospice patient thought dead ‘gasped for air’ in body bag at Iowa funeral home

Fougere added that with respiratory illnesses swirling among Saskatchewan residents young and old, demand is likely to again outstrip supply.

He reiterated information pharmacists and health officials have shared in recent weeks – that some pharmacies have the ability and authority to prepare children’s pain and fever medication behind the counter, and that alternatives to well-known brand names can sometimes be found as well.

Click to play video: 'Compound pharmacies flooded with requests for children’s Tylenol'
Compound pharmacies flooded with requests for children’s Tylenol

“This is a key message. There are pharmacists that will compound, but there are alternative medications that are just as effective as Tylenol or Advil for children,” Fougere said.

“Speak to your pharmacist. They will give you that information and help you out.”

Story continues below advertisement

Read more: Parents, critics demand fix to kids’ pain medication shortage ahead of Canada’s flu season

Read next: Parents abandon their ticketless baby at Israeli airport check-in

The federal government announced plans for a special importation of kids medication last week.

The extraordinary move comes in response to shortages that date back to the summer.

Duclos said Friday that, across Canada in community pharmacies, the average annual demand for painkiller medication is between 300,00 and 400,000 units. He said that current demand is “a lot larger” due to increased circulation of respiratory viruses.

Click to play video: 'Canada receiving more than 1 million bottles of child medication to combat shortage'
Canada receiving more than 1 million bottles of child medication to combat shortage

In addition to the million units already making their way onto shelves across the country, Duclos said another 500,000 units will arrive over the next three weeks.

He added that domestic production also ramped up in November.

Story continues below advertisement

“All that put together, both domestic production and special importation are significantly enhanced,” he said.

The medication comes as provincial data shows respiratory illness is indeed circulating in Saskatchewan, resulting in a spike in reported cases.

The most recent community respiratory illness surveillance program report shows that between Nov. 13 and Nov. 19, 635 flu cases were detected in Saskatchewan. Between Oct. 23 and Oct. 29, just 68 cases were detected.

Sponsored content