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Shortage of antibiotics, children’s medications continue, Ontario pharmacists say

Ontario pharmacists say they are still experiencing a shortage of both over-the-counter cold medications as well as some oral antibiotics for children.

The Ontario Pharmacists Association says that while the situation “is better,” there is still a significantly high demand for medications due to this year’s respiratory virus season.

Health Canada says it has imported nearly 1.9 million bottles of medication to help ease the months-long shortage, but pharmacists say the global shipments aren’t enough.

“We're still seeing a situation where demand is quite high and the supply is not robust enough yet to declare ourselves out of a shortage situation,” said Jen Belcher, vice president of strategic initiatives and member relations.

“Those products have been in variable levels of shortage throughout 2022.”

The medication was distributed to hospitals and other retailers throughout the month of November amid a rise of COVID-19, influenza and RSV.

Canada is expecting another supply by either the end of the year or early next year, Belcher said. However, she also warns other countries worldwide are now starting to see initial reports of shortages.

While the empty shelves at pharmacies can be shocking to consumers, Belcher says a back order of children’s antibiotics is become a growing concern.

“I had a situation this morning where a child need Amoxicillin and there is just none left,” pharmacist Kyro Maseh, from Lawlor Pharmasave, told CTV News Toronto. “It's been back order over a month now.”

“This has a rippling effect on other antibiotics.”

Belcher added that some pharmacists have started to adjust adult capsules or tablets of the antibiotics to match children’s dosages.

Health Canada has not said how many more doses of medication is expected in its next shipment. Top Stories

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