Pharmacy shelves are empty as Ontario is hit hard by nationwide drug shortages

If you’ve noticed a complete lack of over-the-counter medications like children’s acetaminophen and ibuprofen available on drugstore shelves, you’re not alone, as a nationwide shortage is forcing residents of the Ontario to jump from store to store and even cross the US border for basic health care.

Ottawa has noticed too, and like Canadians who have traveled south of the border for help, the federal government is also looking to foreign supplies to help alleviate the shortage.

Health Canada announced measures on Monday to restock sterile shelves in pharmacies amid what is starting to look like a perfect storm of respiratory diseasestating that the federal agency shares “the concerns of parents and caregivers about their inability to find acetaminophen and ibuprofen for infants and children.”

“These products are essential for families, caregivers and medical professionals to reduce fever and pain.”

Health Canada says it has “secured the overseas supply of children’s acetaminophen that will be available at retail and in community pharmacies in the coming weeks,” hoping to “increase available supply.” for consumers and will help address the immediate situation.

But Health Canada is still pleading with the public to take “only what they need, so that other parents and caregivers can access the medications so we can meet the needs of sick children.”

So basically we’re one or two steps away from federal painkiller rationing.

Kinda like the way Ontario went one step away from making it mandatory to wear a mask on Monday morningwith a strong recommendation that people mask up in public places as overlapping outbreaks of respiratory infections slam the already teetering healthcare system in the province.

Ontario’s top doctor, Dr. Kieran Moore, refused to impose a mask mandate amid what he called a ‘triple threat’ in his Monday presser, a move that was condemned by some columnists and online commentators as being more political than practical.

Still others argue that the current situations of masking and medication are completely independent.

In addition to supplying pharmacies, Health Canada also recently approved an exceptional importation of these drugs to supply undersupplied hospitals.

However, it is not as simple as importing the drugs, as Health Canada must ensure that “all information relating to cautions and warnings, dosage guidelines, ingredients and other important details will be available in English and French to ensure that parents and caregivers clearly understand what medications they are using and how to give them to their children.”

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