Pediatricians express concerns over cold, flu medicine shortages
FOX Business’ Madison Alworth speaks to Dr. Dyan Hes about shortages of common antibiotics like Amoxicillin, Tamiflu and baby formula.
There are growing concerns over a shortage of children's Tylenol as America faces growing cases of a common respiratory virus and the flu. On top of that, COVID-19 is still circulating through communities.
The combination of all three viruses have been dubbed by some in the medical community as a "tripledemic," and it's driving consumer demand for children's cold, flu and pain relief products.
However, medical professionals tell FOX Business that medicine might not always be necessary. In some cases, it's safe to let a child ride out a low-grade fever.
Dr. Darshan Patel, section chief of pediatric emergency medicine at Maria Fareri Children's Hospital in New York, told FOX Business that the hospital typically starts seeing cases of highly contagious respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) between October and December, followed by a surge of flu cases between December through February. Now, medical professionals are now seeing both viruses at the same time, driving up the surge in viral illnesses starting in October.
"Starting in October [and] November we started to see an increase in viral illnesses, which is to be expected," as the school year starts, Patel said. "But the numbers were much higher this year because we're seeing both RSV and flu kind of hit at the same time," he added.
Drug manufacturer Johnson & Johnson told FOX Business that children’s Tylenol and children's Motrin "may be less readily available at some stores" due to high demand driven by the "extremely challenging" cold and flu season.
The company says it's doing everything it can to make sure consumers have access to such products which includes maximizing production capacity, running sites 24/7 and "continuously shipping out" product, the drugmaker said.
Johnson & Johnson
|JNJ||JOHNSON & JOHNSON||177.20||+0.03||+0.02%|
|CVS||CVS HEALTH CORP.||102.53||+0.25||+0.24%|
|RAD||RITE AID CORP.||4.44||+0.04||+0.91%|
SHORTAGE OF KEY DRUGS AMID FLU, RSV SURGE LEAVES DOCTORS WORRIED ABOUT ACCESS
CVS told FOX Business it's seeing increased demand for cold, flu and pain relief products but that it's working with its suppliers "to ensure continued access to these items." If a store has a "temporary product shortage," CVS says its teams have a process in place to replenish supply.
Rite Aid, which is facing constraints on children's Tylenol due to ingredient supply chain issue, told FOX Business that its pharmacists are readily available "to provide recommendations for equivalent products and alternative treatment options."
The drugstore chain also carries pediatric products that are not impacted by shortages such as Genexa Kid’s Pain and Fever and Kindermed Kid’s Pain and Fever.
DRUG SHORTAGE SWELLS TO NATIONAL EMERGENCY, FORCING DOCTORS TO FIND NEW WAYS TO TREAT PATIENTS