Pharmacies limit the purchase of kids’ meds. How bad are the shortages?

In the face of major shortages, big retail pharmacies like CVS (CVS) and Walgreens (WBA) are limiting the purchases of children’s over-the-counter medications as cases of respiratory viruses soar. An early start to the flu season — as well as the circulation of three different respiratory viruses that affect kids, such as flu, RSV and COVID-19 — has created what’s known as a “tripledemic.” The confluence of viral infections is pressuring pediatric health care facilities as well as suppliers of common cold and flu treatments, such as those that treat fever and pain. Walgreens told Yahoo Finance that as a result of the skyrocketing demand, it’s limited online purchases. Retailers nationwide are experiencing supplier fulfillment challenges due to increased demand for over-the-counter pediatric fever reducing products,” the company said in a statement. “While Walgreens continues to have products to support our customers and patients, we have put into effect an online only purchase limit of 6 per online transaction to prevent excess purchasing behavior,” the company said in a statement. Our website updates with the latest available store inventory information frequently throughout the day,” the company added. CVS has limited purchases to two pain relief medications per purchase both online and in stores.”We’re committed to meeting our customers’ needs and are working with our suppliers to ensure continued access to these items,” the company said in a statement. A surge in flu and respiratory illnesses are creating medication shortages, including this South Florida pharmacy with no children’s Tylenol in stock on Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (Cindy Krischer Goodman/South Florida Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images) Retail grocer Kroger (KR) has also limited purchases to two pain relief, or four cold and flu medications in stores. Walmart (WMT) and Amazon (AMZN) have not placed any limits so far.The restrictions come several weeks after anecdotal reports of empty shelves nationwide.Pediatricians, family doctors, and parents have taken to social media to highlight the shortages.Syrups like Children’s Motrin and Children’s Tylenol, both made by Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), have been out of stock online, as well as Children’s Advil, manufactured by GSK (GSK) spinoff Haleon. In recent weeks, there have been shortages in adult cold and flu medications as well. Story continuesThe issue isn’t just affecting the United States. Canadian pharmacies began limiting supplies last month and have increased imports as a result. In a recent interview, White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha said that supply has increased, but “the challenge is demand” amid an unusual season of respiratory illnesses. Johnson & Johnson, meanwhile, said in a statement that it was not “experiencing widespread shortages of Children’s Tylenol or Children’s Motrin.” It added that while it recognizes there may be shortages at some stores, “we…are doing everything we can to make sure people have access to the products they need, including maximizing our production capacity, running our sites 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and continuously shipping out product.” Haleon declined to comment and redirected a Yahoo Finance media request to the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. CHPA issued a statement on Monday that reminded manufacturers were running 24 hours a day to meet demand, and that there wasn’t a widespread shortage.”However, with demand for children’s pain and fever medicines reaching unprecedented levels following this early and severe flu season (along with cases of RSV and COVID), we understand why some retailers have adjusted to impose limits on purchases…sales of pediatric internal analgesics are up 65% compared to the same time last year,” the statement said. CHPA also noted that flu cases are on the decline, according to the la test national data.Follow Anjalee on Twitter @AnjKhemRead the latest financial and business news from Yahoo FinanceDownload the Yahoo Finance app for Apple or AndroidFollow Yahoo Finance on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flipboard, LinkedIn, and YouTube

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