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Alternatives, solutions needed for shortage of children's pain relief medication

Cambridge Memorial Hospital says it still has supply on hand
(stock photo)

Some pharmacies have been dealing with a shortage of children's pain relief medication on their shelves.

However, Justin Bates says pharmacies are working to ensure everyone receives the medication they need.

Bates is the CEO of the Ontario Pharmacists Association.  Appearing on the Mike Farwell Show on CityNews 570 on Thursday, he explained.

"We're trying to put in a number of measures to ration supplies," Bates said. "We started in the last couple of days taking stock bottles--which is a larger quantity in 500 ml containers--and repackaging that into smaller quantities."

Some pharmacies may have additional stock of liquid medication in large bottles that need to be dispensed by a pharmacist, and do not require a prescription. 

However, talking to a pharmacist or health care provider can be helpful when determining the proper dosage for a child. 

Bates also mentioned some alternatives for those who can't find liquid medicine.

"Other alternatives parents can look at is chewables, and other oral tablets," said Bates. "There are regular, and extra strength for pain and fever, products that are generic, as well as Tylenol and Advil."

Bates said there is an unprecedented demand for medication, and it will take time to replenish the supply.

"I expect you'll see products on the shelves more readily available by the fall," he said. "But, it will take at least the next two-to-three months to get there."

Meanwhile, in a statement, Cambridge Memorial Hospital says they have supply on hand, and that they are working with their purchasing department to secure more. 


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