Children’s pain medications remain off the shelves and behind the counter at the Medical Arts Pharmacy on Princess Street as lower dose supplies of acetaminophen remain limited.
The pharmacy’s manager Ronish Amin says they are rationing the supplies they have.
“We’ve got a little bit in. It’s still on allocation, which means we haven’t been able to get as much as we wanted, but it’s been enough to help people who do need it, in limited supply,” said Amin. “We’re just offering it kind of just one per family until we can get enough to go on the shelves.”
Pharmacists are working to ensure panic buying doesn’t impact local supplies.
An emergency supply of products announced by Health Canada two weeks ago arrived over the past weekend, offering some relief for parents.
“We’re definitely in a better position today than we were two weeks ago,” said Jen Belcher with the Ontario Pharmacists Association. “So, we’re encouraged to see the situation continue to improve, but it’s definitely highlighted the importance of securing and re-supporting our drug supply chain in the future,”
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The additional supply secured by Health Canada is helping to supplement some of the domestically made medicine that’s been slowly entering the marketplace.
“Ultimately, that domestic supply is beginning to catch up. I believe we are expected to have produced 1.1 million bottles of acetaminophen over the month of November,” said Belcher. “We have the import that came in of the million bottles of product just in the past week, and I do know that I’ve seen announcements from Health Canada that there is going to be an additional import coming in the coming weeks.”
A representative from Kingston Health Sciences Centre confirms that the hospital has received foreign-labelled ibuprofen liquid that was approved by Health Canada recently, and has been able to obtain enough acetaminophen that it has not needed any foreign-labelled supply.