Medication shortage could mean a rough flu season for some Manitobans, pharmacist says

There’s never a good time to get sick, but Manitoba pharmacists are urging people to take whatever preventative measures they can this flu season due to a shortage of adult cold medication.

Tim Smith, pharmacy practice advisor for Pharmacists Manitoba, told 680 CJOB’s The Start the issue could be ongoing, as there’s no telling when the shortage might let up.

“Availability dates are kind of a moving target,” Smith said.

“This particular shortage will eventually sort itself out. When? Who knows … but it really does feel like playing Whac-a-Mole, in that when one product becomes available, what’s the next drug shortage we’ll be dealing with down the line?”

Read more: ‘It’s a Canada problem’: Cold and flu medication shortage outlines supply system flaws

Read next: Ford government documents admit low wages, Bill 124 worsening health staffing issues

The best way to get ahead of a potential issue, he said, is to consider getting a flu shot and the most recent COVID-19 vaccine in order to stay healthy, and prevent the need for medication down the road while shelves are still bare.

Story continues below advertisement

“Every year around this time, we see a lot of people who are getting ill with the common cold, influenza and similar illnesses.

“This year, we’ve seen an uptick in RSV, and COVID is still very much in the picture here — so it seems to be that perfect storm of people all getting ill at the same time and looking for treatment.”

Read more: Winnipeg doctor encourages bivalent COVID-19 vaccine as uptake slows, variant spreads

Read next: Rural Alberta ERs close temporarily amid physician shortages

Local pharmacists, he said, can be a great resource for advice — even during a medication shortage.

“I don’t want people to give up hope. What I’d encourage people to do who are experiencing symptoms or have family members who are, is talk to your pharmacist, describe the symptoms that you have, and we’ll help you find the best product that’s available for you, or alternative non-medication solutions to help you or your family members feel better.”

It’s not just an issue in Manitoba, either. According to the Canadian Pharmacists Association, people across the country are facing struggles getting hold of cold, cough and flu meds — right after a shortage of children’s versions of those drugs that is still having some lingering effects.

Story continues below advertisement

In an informal poll the association conducted last month, the association found that pharmacists reported having a “minimal supply” of adult cold and flu meds, and many said they were completely out of the drugs.

— with files from The Canadian Press

Click to play video: 'Kids medication shortages leading to issues at schools, hospitals'

Kids medication shortages leading to issues at schools, hospitals

&© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

View original article here Source