CLEVELAND (WJW) — The so-called “tripledemic,” RSV, the flu and COVID-19, is causing some problems for parents trying to treat their children at home. Many pharmacies are experiencing shortages of over-the-counter medication, and in some cases imposing limits on how much people can buy.
Meanwhile, some drug manufacturers say there are no widespread national shortages of children’s over the counter medications. But the products may not be available in certain stores, so if your child is sick, you might have to spend time looking around to find what you need.
“It’s definitely frustrating, I feel like it was like a scavenger hunt trying to find food just to feed my child and now it’s happening all over again, and I’m worried in the event that my child gets sick in the next few weeks, what do I do,” said Marissa Dan, a mother who lives in New York.
Dan echoes the feelings of many parents nationwide, perhaps some here in Northeast Ohio.
Medical experts say an unusually fast start to the flu season plus a spike in other respiratory illnesses have created a surge in demand for pediatric fever relievers and medications parents can buy over the counter.
“So ask anyone who has kids or grandkids and they’ll know that this is happening, that’s the problem … I am urging the FDA, the Federal Drug Administration, to investigate the shortages and consider several actions to reduce those shortages,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
FOX 8 reached out to several pharmacies, that say the increased demand and various supplier challenges, are forcing them to limit some purchases.
CVS says, in part: “To ensure equitable access for all our customers, there is currently a two (2) product limit on all children’s pain relief products at all CVS Pharmacy locations and cvs.com. We’re committed to meeting our customers’ needs and are working with our suppliers to ensure continued access to these items.”
Walgreens tells FOX 8: “In an effort to help support availability and avoid excess purchases, we put into effect an online only purchase limit of six per online transaction for all over-the-counter pediatric fever reducers.”
The limit does not apply in stores.
Johnson and Johnson states that while products may be less readily available at some stores, they are not experiencing widespread shortages of Children’s Tylenol or Children’s Motrin.
The company says it recognizes this may be challenging for parents and caregivers, and are doing everything they 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.”
“Parents deserve better,” said Dan
We also reached out to Rite Aid, which says they do not have purchasing limits at the time. The company adds “if customers don’t see their preferred cold/flu treatment products on the shelf, they should speak with the pharmacist for recommendations on other over the counter options, including generic brands.”
In some communities, shortages could last until early next year.