This shipment of 250,000 bottles will bolster supply to hospitals in the province, making sure access to medication is not delayed and children who are being treated on site can get the pain and fever relief they need.
“This is a great first step and I am so pleased that we have been able to secure additional children’s medicine for our hospitals. But we cannot and will not rest with this first shipment. We need approval of the rest of the medication so parents can use them at home. We're in the midst of an exceptionally difficult winter, made more stressful for parents by the shortage of basic medications. Kids and families are waiting for these medications and we need Health Canada to approve them without further delay.”Danielle Smith, Premier
“I’d like to thank our dedicated health professionals for providing the very best of care to our children during these challenging times. This much-needed supply will help Alberta’s hospitals manage pain and fevers for children across the province.”Jason Copping, Minister of Health
In order to receive Health Canada approval, the manufacturer was required to submit a proposal outlining information on the medicine’s quality, safety and product packaging. Health Canada reviewed the proposal and requested additional information as well as a number of changes to meet Canada’s regulatory requirements. One of these changes was the need to add child-resistant caps to the bottles for the retail use supply.
In the interim, an initial shipment was approved for hospital use only, as child-resistant caps are not a regulatory requirement when medicine is administered by medical professionals in a hospital. As a result, rather than wait for the total shipment, Alberta’s government opted to receive a first shipment with medicines for hospital use.
“AHS is grateful for this supply, which provides assurance, long-term, for our stock of acetaminophen in AHS facilities. As drug shortages continue to occur globally, substantial supply of routine medicines is a proactive step that will help our ability to deliver care. We are grateful to all the teams that have helped secure this additional medication.”Mauro Chies, interim president and CEO, Alberta Health Services
The final requirement for child-proof caps has been addressed and the manufacturer has provided all information requested by Health Canada. Alberta’s government is now awaiting Health Canada’s approval of the remaining 4.75 million bottles for retail sale across the province, as are Alberta parents and guardians.
Once received, the medications will be provided to pharmacies for sale at prices in line with the usual retail price. The government is paying a small premium over the expected retail price to secure these medications at a time when there have been global shortages. The full cost will be released when the medication is approved by Health Canada.