Health Care

Pediatric medicine makers say they are running 24/7 to meet increased demand

Pediatric medicine manufacturers told the White House this week that they are operating their facilities 24/7 in order to meet demand as parents across the country continue to deal with medicine shortages brought on by the spread of COVID-19, the flu and RSV.

According to a readout released on Thursday, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra and Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Robert Califf held conversations with the senior leadership of major medicine manufacturers and distributors.

“All the companies shared that they are running manufacturing facilities 24-7 to meet demand, supplies of these products are being replenished as quickly as possible, and there is no widespread shortage of pediatric medicines,” HHS said in a statement.

Among those that spoke with Becerra and Califf were the pharmaceutical companies Perrigo and Johnson & Johnson.

The recent increased severity of respiratory viral spread in the U.S. has resulted in major pharmacy chains like Walgreens and CVS limiting the amount of child pain medication that customers can buy at one time.

Regarding its decision, Walgreens said retailers are experiencing supplier fulfillment issues due to increased demand for over-the-counter medicines, though the company said earlier this week that it has enough product to “support our customers and patients.”

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have jumped in the past few weeks. Cases of common viruses like RSV and the flu, meanwhile, rose earlier this year than they have previously, hitting hospitals hard and leaving many at capacity. According to the most recent influenza report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu activity remains high but appears to be declining in some parts of the country.

Thirty pediatric flu deaths have been reported during this year’s flu season so far.

The Biden administration announced on Wednesday that it was releasing doses of the prescription flu medicine Tamiflu from the Strategic National Stockpile. Jurisdictions will be permitted to request additional doses of Tamiflu if they have exhausted their own stockpiles.

Tags COVID-19 flu Robert Califf RSV Xavier Becerra

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