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Edmonton pharmaceutical company gives parents options during children's drug shortage

Children's cold and fever medication has become increasingly hard to find at pharmacies across the country.

'It's sent people in a panic," said Sheila Wilson, Pharmasave Southgate Professionals pharmacist and owner.

"Especially with COVID, going back to school, people are concerned that they don't have supplies, they can't control fevers in children," she added.

But there's an Edmonton company trying to help parents with an alternative.

"Children not having access to pain medication and fever medication in this time, at this season just seems unacceptable," said Morenike Eniola Olaosebikan, KemNet founder and CEO.

"I really wish more people would know that this is an option," she said.

KemNet is a platform that connects pharmacies with professionals who make compound drugs.

"Compounded medications are custom made drugs for individual patients that take into consideration allergies or particular organ function or age and sometimes when there is a shortage like the situation we're in," said Olaosebikan.

Compound pharmacists are able to make drugs on demand and Olaosebikan said they have the ingredients needed to make children's cold and fever medications.

"We were able to find compounders who sourced the ingredients and we're ready to supply any pharmacy or Alberta or Canadian in need," she said.

The formula being used is a close substitute to children's Tylenol or Advil.

"You’d get it in a suspension or a syrup. It tastes good. We made sure of that," Olaosebikan said with a chuckle.

"We’ve also done gummies and lozenges, rapid dissolve chewable forms of it that dissolve in 10 to 20 seconds in the mouth and they all taste good," she added.

Even though these types of children's medications are available over-the-counter, Olaosebikan said if it is made by a compounder, a prescription is required.

"You would go to You need a prescriber so there’s a list of all these prescribing pharmacies you can access or anyone that’s a family physician, nurse practitioners are also able to prescribe," she said.

Typically compounded medications are covered by most drug plans, but not in this case because it is an over-the-counter medication.

"We’ve made sure the price to the end user is $10 for the medication so we’ve made sure that it's very accessible," said Olaosebikan.

Once a prescription has been submitted, she said the medication is made on demand and made available within 24 hours.

If parents with sick children can't wait that long, she said there will be several pharmacies that will act as pick-up locations.

Wilson's Pharmasave location is one of them.

"I think as a pharmacist it’s extremely important that we provide options to patients versus sending them away and saying that we don’t have something," Wilson said.

With files from CTV Edmonton's Alison MacKinnon Top Stories

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