Health Canada is announcing that we have secured foreign supply of children’s acetaminophen that will be available for sale at retail and in community pharmacies in the coming weeks. The amount to be imported will increase supply available to consumers and will help address the immediate situation. At this time, Canadians should buy only what they need, so that other parents and caregivers can access medication so we can meet the needs of sick children.
Each proposal received from a company to import a foreign authorized product undergoes careful review by Health Canada to confirm that the product was manufactured according to the same high quality standards the people of Canada expect. Health Canada carefully reviewed this new proposal and found that the product was safe and effective. All information related to cautions and warnings, dosing directions, ingredients, and other important details will be made available in both English and French to ensure parents and caregivers clearly understand what medication they are using and how to give to their children. This work is being done in parallel to obtaining the additional foreign supply.
To further increase supply, Health Canada also recently approved the exceptional importation of infant and children’s ibuprofen and acetaminophen to supply hospitals in Canada. The importation of ibuprofen has occurred, and distribution has begun.
We continue to work very closely with the manufacturers and distributors of infant and children’s acetaminophen and ibuprofen products, provinces/territories, children’s hospitals, the Canadian Pediatric Society, the Canadian Pharmacists Association and the Food, Health and Consumer Products of Canada to facilitate information-sharing along the manufacturing and distribution supply chain, and to identify and implement additional measures to alleviate this shortage.
Health Canada’s top priority is the health and safety of Canadians and we are committed to exploring every possible option to end this shortage. In the meantime, if you cannot find infant or children’s fever and pain medication that you need, you can speak to the pharmacist about available alternatives. Do not use adult fever and pain medications on children under 12 years of age unless you consult with a health care professional.