Trudeau Says Unsure Whether Canada Should Produce Medicine Domestically
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday, said he’s unsure whether the solution to address the shortages of children’s medication would be to start producing them domestically, with the issue now dragging over several months.
“I don’t know offhand if it is the right thing for Canada to be starting producing these particular pills or whether it’s just a question of getting more reliable supply chains and agreements out there,” Trudeau said in an interview with The Canadian Press.
Canada has been experiencing a nationwide shortage of children’s pain medications for months, leaving parents scrambling to manage their children’s fever and pain as rates of respiratory syncytial virus and influenza skyrocket.
The drug shortage has led to some calls for Canada to invest more in its pharmaceutical production capacities for essential medications.
However, Trudeau said that might not be the best use of taxpayer dollars.
“If we had a big orange shortage in Canada, people might be shouting, ‘Okay, we need to make them more greenhouses so we can grow more oranges in Canada,”‘ the prime minister said.
As of November 29, over 1.1 million bottles of children’s pain and fever medications have been imported into Canada to help meet the soaring demand, according to Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPA). This is helping to supplement the production of Canadian supply, which is at a record high, with some companies producing about 100% more than they were at the same time in 2021.
CPhA has been involved in regular discussions with Health Canada and other key stakeholders to help address the situation and represent pharmacy professionals. They have compiled a number of resources on this page to help support pharmacy teams as they manage this shortage across Canada.
While the government said a new supply of acetaminophen is coming, it did not say how much or where it’s being imported from. The agency noted the meds will meet all of Canada’s standards.
The agency is asking consumers to only purchase what they need to ensure other parents and caregivers have access to the medicine.