‘I hope it’s temporary’: No end in sight for drug shortages

“Anything made overseas is the big deal,” Bueckert says. “Domestic production is generally quite stable, and these things tend to correct themselves.”

Products like children’s Advil and Tylenol are especially hard to find these days due to shortages. Bueckert says parents looking for something to give their sick child can use a modified dose of the adult product.

“I would recommend talking to a pharmacist or a pharmacy technician who can determine dosages, since it’s done by weight,” Bueckert says. “It’s the only one around her, to take this road.”

In Alberta, pharmacists have prescribing powers, which means they can substitute prescriptions. When there is no stock available, pharmacists can adapt the medication for similar products with different molecules that give the same result. This is an option that Buekcert says is needed to provide some flexibility when there is no supply.

“Most pharmacies lend between stores if it’s prescription, especially if it’s important,” Bueckert says. “Some drugs just aren’t available, so we’ve been able to make adaptations that have the same result, in most cases we can manage.”

Bueckert says pharmacists are well trained to make these adaptations if needed. They are also able to renew prescriptions for people who cannot see a doctor, ensuring that patients receive continued care.

Bueckert says that while he doesn’t know when the shortage will end, he thinks it’s only a matter of time.

“I think things will get better,” Bueckert said. “Supply lines are straightening. A shock to the system takes time to realize, but it will. We are still continuing.

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