Skip to main content

Kids' Advil packs on sale for nearly $300 on Amazon as pressure mounts at pediatric hospitals


A pack of children’s Advil is currently on sale for nearly $300 on Amazon in Canada as a shortage of kids’ pain medications, surge of respiratory illnesses and mounting pediatric patient volumes compound in Ontario.

Anthony Dale, Ontario Hospital Association CEO and president, released a statement on Saturday morning to address the growing pressures at pediatric hospitals and asked people in the province to wear masks indoors.

“Children often wait longer than adults for surgeries and access to specialist clinics and diagnostic procedures. Unfortunately, pediatric hospitals are being forced to cancel many of these services to free up physicians, staff and clinical spaces to care for children with serious respiratory conditions,” Dale said in a statement.

“A large number of children being hospitalized do not have COVID, are not immunocompromised and have no underlying health conditions.”

His remarks follow news from Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children on Friday afternoon alerting the public that they are putting some surgical procedures on hold in an attempt to “preserve critical care capacity.”

Prior to the announcement, the hospital said its intensive care unit was at least 127 per cent above capacity for several days.

The current stress of living with a sick child is what led Jooyoung Lee, a father and University of Toronto associate professor, to an Amazon page on Friday selling an order of children’s Advil for $210 with a delivery date weeks away. A five-pack of Advil on the website was on sale for $291.63 on Saturday.

Nearly all of the remaining kids’ Advil and Tylenol sold on Amazon in Canada are “currently unavailable.”

“Yesterday when we went to a couple pharmacies, and it was a long shot I knew they were going to be out, I started panicking,” Lee told CTV News Toronto. For three of the last four weeks, he said his three-year-old son has had a fever, cough and runny nose.

“We went everywhere, everything was sold out. The only thing you can find on Amazon is people price gouging Advil that will take weeks to arrive,” Lee said.

Their dwindling at-home supply was carried across the border by family visiting from California in the summer as kids’ Advil and Tylenol bottles were already beginning to disappear from pharmacy shelves.

These worrying signs were followed by a statement from the Ontario Pharmacists Association in September warning that liquid and chewable forms of children’s pain medication were growing scarce.

Since then, shortages have only increased in severity leading Health Canada to confirm a national shortage and approve the “exceptional importation” of ibuprofen from the United States and acetaminophen from Australia last month.

At this rate, Lee said he will run out of medication that makes his son’s fevers dramatically drop and he will be forced to start cutting pills or making his own acetaminophen at home.

“There are just so many red flags that the health-care system is collapsing around us, “ Lee said.

“I’m worried about what could be on the horizon this winter.” Top Stories

Stay Connected