By Reem Benadada
With the predicted increase of RSV, Influenza, and Covid-19 mostly among children and seniors, the demand for painkillers is on the rise. After almost a month of an insufficient amount of drugs like Advil and Tylenol, the shortage is spreading to more medications used to relieve other illnesses. These include allergy medications, adult cold syrups, and even some mental health medications, affecting more and more people across Canada.
Parents are scrambling to keep their kids safe while pharmacists have been trying to keep the medicine aisles full. This is an issue affecting a vast amount of people that triggered a backlash on Health Canada. Knowing this season would be highly transmissive in seasonal illnesses Health Canada acted to buy more medicine from Australia and other countries after the issue was already in the headlines.
In some cases not finding the medication necessary leads to parents having to give their kids adult painkillers which isn't the safest option, or needing to take their children straight to the already strained emergency rooms.
To say the problem “isn't bad enough to worry about” is inaccurate. After a poll done by some Harbord students, the results show the impacts on everyone. 35% of respondents said they had difficulty finding the medicine they needed with the majority of the rest saying they just never needed to look.
All in all, even though it might not affect you personally, the fact that Canada is also lacking the ingredients needed to manufacture these drugs, might raise major concerns about whether or not Canada is too reliant on other countries to provide the necessary drugs/ingredients. This is a problem we've already seen during the Covid-19 vaccine rollout and a few years back when there was a shortage situation very similar to the current one. Regardless of whether it's a management, geopolitical, or supply chain issue, Health Canada should take stronger measures before it gets out of hand next time.