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Adult Flu Drugs Are in Short Supply

Now it's becoming increasingly difficult to find cold and flu medicines for adults.

Pharmacists tell CityNews they can't stock their shelves as demand is rising again. It comes when there has been some good news about antibiotics for children.

Dr. Jen Belcher of the Ontario Pharmacists Association (OPA) said there has been a low stock of specific brands intermittently over the past eight months, but now the shortage has intensified.

"What we're seeing with this is that it's very similar to children's medications; there is exceptionally high demand for what we would normally see in a year," Dr. Belcher explained.

Drug shortages began to be reported when a season of triple-threat viruses, Influenza, COVID-19 and RSV, hit fast and furiously. A wave of children began to fall ill, and many of those cases led to secondary bacterial infections, such as strep throat and pneumonia, diseases that are treated with antibiotics, which are also in short supply.

Since mid-October, Ontario parents have struggled to fill their prescriptions. CityNews has now learned that by the end of January, Canada should have a 12-week supply of amoxicillin for children.

Juno Pharmaceuticals President and CEO Mark Mantel said his company is one of several working closely with Health Canada and has been approved to import 100,000 units of international supply.

"The shortage of amoxicillin is serious. We're seeing empty pharmacies all over the country and hospitals can't get enough supply, so it's terrible," Mantel said.

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