FDA commissioner pressurizes parents not to stockpile children's flu medications amid poverty

FDA commissioner pressurizes parents not to stockpile children's flu medications amid poverty

December 23, 2022: The surge in flu cases and Covid-19 infections for December, along with increased levels of childhood respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, ailments, has caused formal demand for children’s over-the-counter cold and flu medications. The Food and Drug Administration commissioner said his agency is working with people to improve supply, but the present demand is unprecedented. 

“We’re urging people not to buy over they need because there is enough to go all over for the amount of disease. It’s just that the minute it is shipped out, and it gets bought. And if people purchase more than they need and all of them do that, then people needing the products won’t be allowed to get them,” FDA Commissioner Dr Robert Califf.

The demand has prompted a few of the nation’s largest pharmacy chains to limit purchases to ensure enough supply for parents who need it. This week CVS Health

 began qualifying purchases of two children’s over-the-counter pain and fever medication products in stores and online. Walgreens and Rite Aid have purchased some items online but have yet to be in stores. A Walmart spokesperson stated that it does not have buy limits on pediatric pain and fever items.

Johnson & Johnson, one of the significant makers of children’s pain medications, stated that it has ramped up production near the clock to meet the unprecedented demand. It is working with retailers to get more supply to areas where demand is increased.

“While products will be less readily available at a few stores, we are not experiencing general shortages of Children’s Tylenol,” a J&J representative said in a statement. “We recognize this may be challenging for guardians and parents, and we are doing everything we can to ensure people have access to the products they need.”

On Wednesday, the Biden administration stated that it would release doses of Tamiflu, the medical flu antiviral tablets, from national stockpiles to help maintain adequate supplies during the current flu season. However, the government does not have a store for over-the-counter drugs.

The FDA commissioner said his agency works with manufacturers to ensure that supplies of children’s medications hit the areas where they are most needed. He stated that sourcing more medication is challenging because other states in the Northern Hemisphere are experiencing similar demand.

“The overall supply is more significant than it’s being, but the demand is even higher,” Califf stated. “We’ve not seen the need, the demand closer as high as it is currently at any time in our recorded history.”

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