Alberta-procured children's medication from Türkiye on its way to pharmacies
A fresh supply of children's pain and fever medicine is being distributed to Alberta pharmacies, the health minister says, with enough stock received to last for two years to prevent future supply shortages.
In December, faced with national shortages of cold and flu medication for children, the provincial government ordered five million bottles of medicine from Turkish Atabay Pharmaceuticals.
In an update Monday, Premier Danielle Smith said she read letters from desperate parents seeking pain relief for their kids and heard how some even travelled to Mexico or the U.S. to get needed medication during the peak shortage.
"For months, I heard gut-wrenching stories from frustrated parents who can't access children's pain and fever medications," the premier said.
"It's taken longer than we hoped for," Smith said. "I want parents to know that your government has heard you, and I truly hope that this supply will provide a little bit more comfort and relief to your families."
One-third of that order has been shipped to Alberta, around 700,000 bottles, with some pharmacies already having bottles on their shelves and others receiving stock in the coming days.
SUPPLY CHAIN REMAINS UNCERTAIN: COPPING
The primary shipment, approximately 250,000 units, was provided to hospitals first in January to "stabilize" their stocks, Alberta's health minister said.
"We have a supply now for a couple years," explained Minister Jason Copping. "The supply chain still remains uncertain, even though the federal government did bring in some more bottles, it quite frankly wasn't enough."
The product, called Parol Suspension, comes in an orange box and can be used to treat pain and fever symptoms in children. It will be kept behind the counter at Alberta pharmacies, with no purchase limits per family.
Pharmacist Chandan Sangha said the bottles come with a dosing spoon, but parents can request an oral syringe if they prefer.
Sangha shared how over the winter, he and colleagues across the country tried to help parents seeking pain medication for their children as much as they could, often relying on alternative regimes or compounded drugs.
"We were getting questions from the time that we would open to the time that we would close, whether it was a weekend or an evening, it didn't matter," he added. "And unfortunately, a lot of the time, it was no."
"It puts a strain on a lot of our hearts," he recalled, adding that he is happy that supply has been secured for the next two years.
COST AND DOSAGE QUESTIONS
Copping said the production contract and import of the medication are expected to cost around $80 million, with $10 million going toward administration costs, shipping and waste disposal.
When asked by reporters, the health minister confirmed the province didn't solicit bids from other suppliers, but "went looking" for available supply. For now, Alberta is the only external international jurisidiction Atabay is providing medication to.
"This was the only company that we could actually secure supply because there is a shortage around the world," Copping said. "Thanks again to the folks at AHS for reaching out and finding the supplier and making this agreement."
Alberta Health Minister Jason Copping provides an update about the availability of children's cold and flu medication the province procured itself on Monday, March 20, 2023 (CTV News Edmonton/Brandon Lynch).
The province will subsidize a portion of the total cost of each bottle to ensure it is priced similarly to other children's pain and fever medication, Copping shared. The suggested retail price is around $12.
Individual pharmacies will determine the final sale price, but the health minister said the province would monitor to ensure it is priced within a similar range of equivalent medications.
A further two shipments of children's acetaminophen and ibuprofen will arrive by the end of the month and be available after a quarantine process. Conversations with other provinces to purchase stock from Alberta are ongoing, the health minister said.
A bulletin sent to Alberta pharmacists last week communicated how the Turkish medicine, while approved by Health Canada, contains a lower concentration of Acetaminophen than other Canadian equivalents.
"It's not atypical for different dosages to be out there," Copping affirmed, adding that pharmacists will explain this to parents as they purchase the medication.
"Parents and caregivers can be assured that these medications are as effective and meet the same safety standards as other brands they are used to seeing in the store."
The Official Opposition criticized the speed at which the province procured the children's medication, saying it came "far too late."
"Last year, when the lack of children’s pain relief medication drove many families to the emergency room, where they were met with wait times of up to 17 hours at children’s hospitals, the UCP failed to immediately respond to the crisis," said Rakhi Pancholi, children's services critic.
"Now, a small portion of the medication they procured has arrived too late to address the problem and will have to be kept behind the counter because it comes in non-standard doses," Pancholi added. "And the province is on the hook for another 4.5 million bottles still on the way."
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Matt Woodman and Alex Antoneshyn
Edmonton Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Trump charged over classified documents in 1st federal indictment of an ex-president
Donald Trump said Thursday that he was indicted for mishandling classified documents at his Florida estate, a remarkable development that makes him the first former president in U.S. history to face criminal charges by the federal government that he once oversaw.
Freeland's budget bill passes House after Poilievre pledges to block it
The federal budget implementation bill passed the House of Commons on Thursday, after days of Conservative attempts to block it.
Supreme Court of Canada won't hear unvaccinated woman's case for organ donation
The Supreme Court of Canada will not hear the appeal of an Alberta woman who was unwilling to be vaccinated in order to get a life-saving organ transplant.
Poor air quality from fires expected to continue for at least a couple days
Smoke and flames continue to engulf much of Canada, with Alberta imposing new evacuation orders, Manitoba bracing for heavy, lightning-generating thunderstorms and high wildfire risks and poor air quality from coast to coast.
Wildfires, smoke having 'huge impact' on some tourism operators across Canada
Raging wildfires and smoky skies across much of Canada have put a damper on travel this summer, resulting in cancelled plans and closed businesses.
From hoses and shovels to water bombers: how wildfires are being fought across Canada
The techniques used to put out the wildfires that are burning across Canada vary somewhat depending on geography, but ultimately they depend on people on the ground with hoses and shovels digging out hot spots one by one, experts say.
Statistics Canada to release its latest labour force survey today
Statistics Canada will release its latest snapshot of how the job market is doing in the country.
Special rapporteur David Johnston cuts ties with crisis management firm Navigator
Canada's special rapporteur on foreign interference has ended ties with crisis communications firm Navigator, his office confirmed on Thursday.
Are more interest rate hikes on the way? Here's what experts say
In the wake of the Bank of Canada’s unexpected rate hike, economists are pointing to further tightening in the near term.
Heat spell, dry season hurting western Alberta crops
The extreme heat and lack of precipitation is being felt on farms across Alberta, and there's a high probability of it hurting this year's yield.
Police investigating after Ogden home targeted by anti-Semitic graffiti three weeks straight
After the first incident left a Nazi symbol on his election lawn sign, Jordan Barrett thought it was just someone upset about his voting intentions.
Charges pending against Langdon, Alta. man in fatal attack
A 31-year-old resident of Langdon, Alberta, faces charges in relation to a fatal assault.
'Men like to strike women': Judge slams culture of domestic violence in Sask. during murder sentencing
A man who killed his ex-wife’s cousin will spend life in prison with no chance of parole for 15 years, a judge decided on Thursday at Saskatoon’s Court of King’s Bench.
Sask. man who endured school abuse says compensation denied over technicality
A man who suffered years of abuse at a day school on Poundmaker Cree Nation says he had his compensation claim rejected on a technicality.
Proposed tax hike in Saskatoon draws criticism from pundits
Tax increases proposed on Wednesday for Saskatoon’s next multi-year budget are drawing criticism from the business community.
Bear spray incident shuts down new Wascana Pool's opening day
Following a reported bear spray incident, Regina’s Wascana Pool was shut down on the day of its much-anticipated reopening.
'Gobsmacked': Court hears from Thauberger's ex-wife in decades long murder
The murder trial for Joseph Thauberger resumed Thursday, with testimony from his then wife Barbara Hayes.
Regina mayor says homeless camp was reaching 'critical point' before teardown
Regina's mayor says the city's fire department had growing concerns about the health, safety and well-being of those living in a homeless camp that was dismantled on Wednesday morning.
Higgs government faces caucus revolt over changes to LGBTQ school policy in N.B.
New Brunswick students under the age of 16 who identify as trans and non-binary won't be able to officially change their names or pronouns in school without parental consent.
Halifax says more residents can return home Friday after wildfires
The Halifax Regional Municipality says it will announce Thursday when more residents can return to their homes in communities impacted by the Tantallon wildfires.
'People are maxing out their credit cards': Evacuees call for extra emergency money in wildfire aftermath
Evacuees throughout Nova Scotia are calling on the province for more money in the aftermath of wildfires.
Video captures bus plowing into stopped traffic in deadly Mississauga, Ont. crash
Video has surfaced showing a Mississauga, Ont. transit bus plowing into stopped traffic in a crash that left one person dead and at least eight injured on Thursday morning.
Toronto constable demoted for role in cheating promotions exam
An officer who admitted to playing a part in a scheme to cheat the Toronto Police Service promotions procedure has been temporarily demoted instead.
Girl rescued from burning home in Brampton last week has died: OFM
A girl rescued from a burning home in Brampton last week has died in the hospital, Ontario's fire marshal said on Friday.
Quebec wildfire situation 'stable' for coming days; evacuees stuck until next week
Quebec's precarious wildfire situation is expected to remain stable over the next 48 hours but residents displaced by the raging forest fires likely won't be able to return home until early next week, Premier Francois Legault said Thursday.
Man accused of Claudia Iacono killing was arrested the next day in Ontario on drug charges
An Ontario man charged Wednesday with first-degree murder in the death of Claudia Iacono, the daughter-in-law of the late Montreal Mafia associate Moreno Gallo, was arrested the day after the killing in Ontario on unrelated drug charges, public records show.
Former Montreal mayor Denis Coderre opens up about life after stroke, depression
Former Montreal mayor Denis Coderre, who spent his life in politics, collapsed and suffered a stroke on April 11, and even as he's slowly recovering, the fighter's instinct, that he's known for, is very much alive.
Hydro capacity 'tightness' could cause energy shortfalls in Ontario this summer, report warns
Ontario’s electricity grid could be in a precarious spot, especially when demand spikes in a heat wave, according to a new report.
NEW THIS MORNING
NEW THIS MORNING | What's happening in Ottawa this weekend: June 9-11
CTVNewsOttawa.ca looks at things to do in Ottawa, eastern Ontario and western Quebec this weekend.
Air quality improves over Ottawa, but smoky skies could return on Friday
People in the Ottawa-Gatineau area are breathing fresher air, as smoke and haze from wildfires in northern Ontario and Quebec moves out of the area.
Six Nations’ Brandon Montour flew home for son's birth between playoff games
Scoring the opening goal of game three of the Stanley Cup finals wasn’t the only celebration Florida Panthers defenceman Brandon Montour was a part of this week.
Burping bovine: University of Guelph researchers develop tool to predict how much methane a cow will belch out
University of Guelph (U of G) researchers have been looking at ways to breed dairy cows that burp out less methane, a harmful greenhouse gas emission contributing to climate change.
SUV smashes into Kitchener LCBO
Police say no one was seriously hurt when an SUV crashed into the front door of an LCBO in south Kitchener Thursday.
Wildfire evacuation order west of Sudbury, Ont., expands, highway closed
A wildfire west of Sudbury, Ont., has quadrupled in size prompting evacuation orders to be expanded and one highway to close.
Another northern Ont. resident charged for illegal backyard fire, 5th in one week
A fifth person in northern Ontario has been charged in less than a week for having a campfire during the fire ban.
Settlements end $100M class action lawsuit by alleged Manitoulin Island abuse survivors
A $100 million class action lawsuit launched on behalf of alleged victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy on Manitoulin Island has been abandoned after the victims reached individual settlements with the church.
Softball-sized hail, strong wind gusts reported in Manitoba storm
A storm that tore through a community northwest of Brandon Wednesday brought with it heavy winds and, in some areas, hail the size of softballs.
'That hurt has been extended': Indigenous leaders share displeasure of Queen Elizabeth II statue being back up
Two years after two statues were knocked down and damaged at the Manitoba Legislature, one is now back up and Indigenous leaders are upset by the decision.
Man charged in connection to crash that sent two officers to hospital
A 25-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a crash that left two Winnipeg police officers with serious injuries.
Northeastern B.C. community of 2,400 ordered to evacuate due to wildfire
Tumbler Ridge, a community with a population of 2,400 in northeastern B.C., has been ordered to evacuate Thursday due to the danger posed by an encroaching wildfire.
'Blame to go around': BC United accepts role in Surrey hospital crisis while pledging investment
A day after the NDP government presented its 30-point plan to address the crisis at Surrey Memorial Hospital, the official Opposition is pledging to build a tower, while acknowledging their role in the situation.
Sunshine Coast mayor wants province to help prevent another devastating drought
As B.C. continues to see unseasonably hot and dry conditions, there are growing drought concerns on the Sunshine Coast.
Port Alberni wildfire rages on with no timeline to reopen crucial highway
The mayor of Port Alberni says she does not expect the highway to reopen for several days at least, and she is asking the province to open more forestry roads to truck in much-needed supplies to communities west of the wildfire.
Grizzly bear photographed on Vancouver Island in rare sighting
The B.C. Conservation Officer Service (COS) is warning residents of a grizzly bear that's been spotted in the Port McNeill area of Vancouver Island.
Serious crash blocks major street into downtown Victoria
Two people were taken to hospital following a serious collision on Blanshard Street just outside of downtown Victoria.