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Some antibiotic products containing amoxicillin are in short supply, says Health Canada – National ocn News Some antibiotic products containing amoxicillin are in short supply, says Health Canada – National

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OCN News,

Some products containing a commonly used antibiotic are in short supply, according to Health Canada.

The regulator told Global News on Friday that four companies — Sanis Health Inc., Apotex Inc., GlaxoSmithKline Inc. and Teva Canada Limited — are reporting shortages of drugs containing amoxicillin, an antibiotic commonly used for ear infections and sometimes pneumonia. According to the agency’s Pharmaceuticals Database, there are still eight other companies marketing amoxicillin products in Canada that are not reporting a shortage at this time.

Health Canada said in its statement that it will follow up with companies reporting shortages to “assess any potential impact on the supply of amoxicillin in Canada” and promises to take action if it becomes aware of any supply issues. in the country.

“Ensuring Canadians have access to the medicines they need is a top priority for the Government of Canada,” the agency said.

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The reported shortages come as the US Food and Drug Administration also listed a shortage of amoxicillin in an oral powder on October 28. Australia has also noted a shortage of the antibiotic.

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Dr Barry Power, editor of the Canadian Pharmacists Association, said the shortage is an “international problem”. He has heard of the beginnings of shortages of a few antibiotic products for children in Canada which he thinks will eventually affect the whole country, and it is just starting to show up at the pharmacy level here.

Power said the raw ingredient for amoxicillin is what is missing from manufacturers often based in China and India, but he does not know the specific reason why it is difficult to produce it.

“We are at the mercy of the international market,” he said. “If there is a shortage in the international market, domestic manufacturing will be affected.”

Pharmacies have not yet reported shortages of antibiotic products containing amoxicillin, Power said, but some have had to order a different brand because a supplier may not have been able to fulfill the order. He described it as being similar to going from one grocery store to another.

Pharmaceutical companies are required to report shortages, which are publicly listed on a website run by Health Canada. There are 10 reported active shortages of amoxicillin-containing products since Oct. 12, according to the Drug Shortages Canada website, with the reasons listed including “Drug manufacturing disruption” or “Increased demand for the drug.” “.

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The shortage comes as other drugs are in short supply in Canada due to high demand, according to Power, particularly acetaminophen and ibuprofen for children. Power said demand soared about 300% in August as media reported shortages, topping all-time highs in demand. Supply hasn’t been able to catch up with demand despite manufacturing increasing by about 30%, Power said, mainly due to capacity limits.

Power said some people are buying more than they need and some pharmacists are imposing limits on low-quantity medications, though that can be difficult to enforce when dealing with worried parents with sick children.

The supply shortage came as Canada enters flu season, crowds are returning as COVID-19 restrictions have been eased and hospitals across the country are struggling to keep pace with admissions, creating this which Power calls a “perfect storm.”

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“A lot of factors came together to create havoc,” he said.

Dr. Anna Banerji, associate professor of public health at the University of Toronto, illustrated to Global News a potential scenario in which a child with a painful ear infection who has no way of managing the pain could end up in the emergency room. . , which further increases the burden they face.

“Having the stress of not having pain and fever medication, not having antibiotics, I think this could be a very stressful time for families and children,” she said.

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


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