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  • Grinding out local solution amid national medication shortage

    It’s a “relatively uncommon” response to a shortage Pharmacists Manitoba practice adviser Tim Smith said has hit the province a little later than much of the country, but still hit hard. “It seems to be getting worse before it’s going to get better. When the stories first started hitting national media, some products were in and out of supply here (in Manitoba) but it hadn’t really hit a critical mass at that point,” Smith said. “But since then, we’ve really seen that the overwhelming majority of acetaminophen and ibuprofen products are no longer available, particularly those products intended for children.” Compound prescriptions are more commonly seen in topical pain creams (as a replacement for oral treatments) or hormone replacement therapy. In that essence, it’s not a new process at all, and supply chain issues have been impacting Manitoba’s pharmaceutical industry for years, advocates said. However, with supply chain disruptions having skyrocketed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the general public may be forced to become more aware of the benefits of compound prescriptions, Smith said. “I’d say what’s really captured the public imagination here is that everyone knows Tylenol and Advil, and especially because it impacts children’s formulations, I think that’s what’s really brought it onto the radar for people,” he said.…

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  • Worried about a shortage of children's medications? Here's what you need to know

    On Monday, Toronto's SickKids hospital advised parents and caregivers of its patients that they would now need a prescription for children's acetaminophen or ibuprofen products for take-home use, due to the nationwide shortage. However, on Tuesday, the hospital clarified that advice, saying it "recommended" a prescription "to help ensure access" to a pharmacy's larger stock bottles, adding that its original message was not meant for the general public. According to the Ontario Pharmacists Association, a prescription can be helpful because it tells the pharmacist the right amount of medication to dispense to the individual child, and what dosage to put on the label, based on their age and weight. That said, a prescription is not mandatory. "What is available at any given day may be changed from day to day, or week to week, but there are products that are still out there," said Tim Smith, a Winnipeg pharmacist and pharmacy practice adviser for PHARMACISTS MANITOBA. "Pharmacists are experts in helping navigate drug shortage issues [and] will help you find the appropriate medication for your child." Some pharmacies have pre-emptively moved their remaining stock of pediatric pain and fever products behind their counters to discourage panic-buying, noted Power, and customers who encounter empty shelves should speak with a pharmacist to see if the medicine is still available, and what the alternatives are.…

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