Pharmacists receiving short shipments as drug shortage continues

Medication on a shelf. (File photo)

OTTAWA -- The Canadian Pharmacists Association says ongoing drug shortages mean pharmacies are receiving short shipments from manufacturers, leaving them to try to adjust on the fly.

The association first warned of the possibility of looming shortages in early March, when supply chains were disrupted by COVID-19 in China.

While Canada has seen a spike in shortages since then, it hasn't developed into the emergency situation some health officials had feared.

Barry Power with the association says manufacturers and wholesalers have told them the rationing measures pharmacies are taking are helping to reduce demand.

Many pharmacies have instituted a 30-day limit on the quantity of drugs they dispense at once -- which has an impact on some patients who have to pay more frequent dispensing fees.

Power says the association is working with Health Canada to decide when those restrictions should be lifted.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 6, 2020

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