KemNet steps up over Tylenol and children’s Advil shortages
Cold and fever medicines for children have become increasingly difficult to find in pharmacies across the country.
“It freaked people out,” said Sheila Wilson, a pharmacist and owner of Pharmasave Southgate Professionals.
“Especially with COVID, back to school, people are worried that they don’t have supplies, they can’t control fever in children,” she added.
But there’s an Edmonton company trying to help parents with an alternative.
“With children not having access to painkillers and fever medication at this time, this season just seems unacceptable,” said Morenike Eniola Olaosebikan, Founder and CEO of KemNet.
“I really wish more people knew that’s an option,” she said.
KemNet is a platform that connects pharmacies to professionals who manufacture compound drugs.
“Compound drugs are drugs that are custom made for individual patients that take into account allergies or particular organ function or age and sometimes when there is a shortage like the situation we find ourselves in. “, said Olaosebikan.
Compound pharmacists are able to make medicines on demand and Olaosebikan said they have the ingredients needed to make cold and fever medicines for children.
“We were able to find compounders who sourced the ingredients and we are ready to supply any pharmacy, Alberta or Canadian in need,” she said.
The formula used is a close substitute for Tylenol or Children’s Advil.
“You would get it in a slurry or syrup. It tastes great. We made sure of that,” Olaosebikan said with a laugh.
“We’ve also made gummies and lozenges, quick-dissolving chewable forms that dissolve in 10-20 seconds in the mouth and they all taste great,” she added.
Even though these types of children’s medications are available over-the-counter, Olaosebikan said if they’re made by a compounder, a prescription is needed.
“You would go to shortages.kemnet.ca/. You need a prescriber so there’s a list of all those prescribing pharmacies you can go to or anyone who’s a family doctor, nurse practitioners can also prescribe,” she said.
Generally, compound drugs are covered by most drug plans, but not in this case because it is an over-the-counter drug.
“We made sure the end-user price is $10 for the drug, so we made sure it’s very accessible,” Olaosebikan said.
Once a prescription has been submitted, she said the drug is made on demand and made available within 24 hours.
If parents of sick children cannot wait that long, she said there will be several pharmacies that will serve as pick-up points.
Wilson’s Pharmasave location is one of them.
“I think as a pharmacist, it’s incredibly important that we give patients options rather than sending them away and saying we have nothing,” Wilson said.
With files from Alison MacKinnon of CTV Edmonton