Premier Smith announced Tuesday, December 6 that the province has secured five million bottles of children's acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
For months there has been a shortage of children's pain and fever medications on pharmacy shelves. The shortage has placed additional stress on families and the healthcare system.
Alberta’s government and Alberta Health Services are working with Health Canada on completing the drug establishment licensing approval process with Atabay Pharmaceuticals and Fine Chemicals. They already have Health Canada approval for its raw ingredients and currently, send the same doses that Alberta is working to acquire to other nations like the United States and the United Kingdom. Once the approval is granted, the medication will be delivered to Alberta over 10 air shipments.
Premier Smith says, "Cold and flu season is always difficult on young children and their families and causes additional strain on our health system, especially at our children’s hospitals. The shortage of children’s pain relief medication is exacerbating these challenges and causing a tremendous amount of anxiety for families. We are working cooperatively with Health Canada and I urge them to expedite all necessary approvals in the coming days so we can load this massive shipment of pain relief medication onto the airplanes we’ve secured to bring this pain relief medication to Alberta families and children. This is how cooperative federalism should work.”
Health Minister Copping anticipates once the approvals are in place it will take a few weeks to get the products on the shelves adding, "I want to thank Alberta Health Services for taking on the task for procuring this valuable medication and all our health-care professionals during this challenging time. The current situation has also meant busy hospitals and doctors’ offices, as parents run out of options to treat their little ones. The strain on our system is real, and we are doing everything in our power to ease the burden on our health-care system in whatever way we can.”
The medication that is coming will be manufactured in a Health Canada-approved facility overseas and will follow all Health Canada guidelines.
The cost should be in line with the average cost of a similar type of medication.