To a shortage of medicines?

Félix Séguin

After the masks, hospitals worry of running out of certain drugs because of the pandemic of COVID-19.

In the last few days, an establishment of the greater Montreal region, has sent a note informing them of the difficulty of supply of some medicines to be as common as acetaminophen or Ativan. One application in particular to favour the forms of tablets rather than syrup or injectable.

“Probably in relation with the pandemic COVID-19, several drugs are presently out of inventory,” says the memo.

It indicates that the drug distributors filter the orders for the medicines that are deemed critical are fairly distributed. The ministry of Health has also requested a portrait of the inventories at each facility.

The ministry of Health of Quebec is said to monitor the situation closely. “All the medicines necessary for the treatment of patients in the icu are currently in great demand.

This strong demand creates pressure on the inventories. This is particularly necessary medication for the sedation of patients (e.g. neuromuscular blocking agents, propofol, etc). All countries are confronted to this reality.

The DHSS is currently working with suppliers to find solutions. Discussions were also ongoing with other provinces and the federal government,” said the spokesman, Robert Maranda.

Already breaks

Some products, such as chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine that are used on patients with the severe form of the COVID-19 are already out of stock. Of the people who were taking to treat their rheumatoid arthritis were told that they would no longer have for the moment (see another text).

The issue of supply is the subject of a close monitoring by the federal government. Meetings were held earlier this week.

One of the problems comes from the fact that India, one of the main suppliers of raw materials for drugs is hard hit by the pandemic and the severe measures of containment have been put in place.

India has also imposed export restrictions on 26 the active ingredients used in the manufacture of medicines. The delivery to Canada is also a challenge as there is a lack of personnel, containers and even airplane flights business in which they are usually transported.

“We are made vulnerable because of our dependency on India and China”, says Pierre Morin, deputy director general of the Groupement provincial of the drug industry.

No shortage in pharmacy

The president of the College of pharmacy, Bertrand Bolduc, however, is reassuring. The pharmacies in the towns and villages of Quebec are not living out of stock important.

“To share everything that is breathing, the rest is under control,” he said, referring in particular to the Flovent, which is used for the treatment of asthma. Patients with the coronavirus have been prescribed this medicine.

However, there are alternative products, says the president. In spite of everything, in order to keep inventories well stocked, pharmacists have received the order not to renew the medication for over a month.

“Two weeks ago, there has been a wave of people who wanted to renew quickly, but since then, it is back to normal,” he says.

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