First shipment of children’s medications arrive in Edmonton

Alberta’s first shipment of children’s pain medication arrived Wednesday night at the Edmonton International Airport.

The 250,000 bottles delivered are going to hospitals in the province, as they do not have the child-resistant caps required for retail sale in Canada.

“AHS is grateful for this supply, which provides assurance, long-term, for our stock of acetaminophen in AHS facilities. As drug shortages continue to occur globally, substantial supply of routine medicines is a proactive step that will help our ability to deliver care,” said Mauro Chies, interim president and CEO of Alberta Health Services.

An additional 4.75 million bottles are awaiting approval by Health Canada after the agency requested additional information from the manufacturer and requested a number of changes to the medications to meet regulatory requirements in Canada.

The Alberta government said in a press release Wednesday the manufacturer has given Health Canada all requested information and the requirement for child-proof caps has been addressed.

“We cannot and will not rest with this first shipment. We need approval of the rest of the medication so parents can use them at home,” said Premier Danielle Smith. “We’re in the midst of an exceptionally difficult winter, made more stressful for parents by the shortage of basic medications.”

Once approved by Health Canada, future shipments of the children’s fever and pain medication will be provided to Alberta pharmacies for retail sale.

A small premium was paid to secure the medication during a global shortage, but the Alberta government said it won’t be releasing the total cost of the five million bottles until the medications are approved by Health Canada.