‘Very scary’: Okanagan parents speak out about children’s lack of painkillers

The shortage of painkillers for children has made headlines across Canada.

Now an Okanagan mom is speaking out about the impact it is having on her family and urging others not to buy more than they need.

Coldstream, BC parent Stacie Grahn said when her three-year-old son fell ill this week, her husband went to a few different local pharmacies and couldn’t find liquid Advil or Tylenol for children.

So he ended up buying adult drugs.

“We tried to crush that for him, but … it’s not easy to give that to a kid,” Grahn said.

“It was really very scary, especially in the middle of the night at 4am when his fever didn’t go down. I lay there thinking how many other parents are in this situation right now?”

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‘Bare shelves’: A month later, parts of British Columbia still face a shortage of child painkillers

At Nolan’s Parmasave in Vernon, a shelf that would normally hold children’s painkillers is empty and clues as to when items will be available list dates from next month to next year.

A few blocks away at the SterlingRX pharmacy, supplies of children’s painkillers were limited on Thursday.

“We’ve just been able to scrape together most of this from the tight stocks that are turning up at the warehouse we order from, but restocking is quite difficult at this point,” said Pharmacy Manager Graeme Nevins.

Click here to play the video:'BC continues to suffer from a shortage of children's painkillers'

BC continues to suffer from a shortage of pain medication for children

BC continues to suffer from a shortage of pain medication for children

Health Canada said in a statement to Global News that companies are reporting higher-than-normal demand coupled with supply chain issues.

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Earlier this month, the province accused hoarding based on false reports that Tylenol required a prescription.

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BC parents urged not to stockpile or panic buy amid the shortage of child painkillers

However, the State Ministry of Health has recently also mentioned supply problems as an issue. In a statement Thursday, the ministry said BC Children’s Hospital is “struggling with supply chain disruptions” but is “stocked with adequate supplies” for its patients.

Whatever the cause of the deficiency, parents and pharmacists must remedy the situation.

“Fortunately we are a compound pharmacy. We specialize in the extemporaneous manufacture of medicines so that we can manufacture liquid paracetamol or tylenol. It’s a bit more expensive, but if nothing else is available, that might be the best option,” Nevins said.

However, Nevins notes that drugs can also take 24 to 48 hours to craft at the pharmacy, and it’s not clear if they’ll be able to replenish the raw materials for the liquid Tylenol when they run out.

Grahn eventually took her son to the emergency room when his fever wouldn’t go down, and later found some children’s painkillers in Kelowna.

“Don’t overbuy. Leave something for parents who don’t have one,” Grahn said.

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“I think we’re all kind of tired of the panic buying and panic buying of the last few years. I know that thinking back to 2020 has brought back a lot of bad feelings for me.”

Both provincial and federal governments discourage hoarding and say they are working on mitigation strategies.

– with files by Kylie Stanton

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

https://globalnews.ca/news/9150381/okanagan-parent-childrens-painkiller-shortage/ ‘Very scary’: Okanagan parents speak out about children’s lack of painkillers


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