Ossoff demands answers on shortage of children’s medications

Sen. Jon Ossoff spoke with News 12's Meredith Anderson. Here's the full interview.
Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 2:24 PM EST
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WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff wrote to the president and CEOs of three pharmaceutical companies on the shortage of over-the-counter children’s pain and fever-reducing medications.

The Georgia Democrat wrote to Perrigo, Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturer of children’s Tylenol and Motrin, and GlaxoSmithKline, the manufacturer children’s Advil.

“I write to inquire regarding continuing reports that Georgia’s parents and guardians are having a hard time finding children’s over-the-counter pain and fever-reducing medications amidst this winter’s spike in viral infections,” Ossoff said in his letters.

According to media reports, parents in metro Atlanta are struggling to find cold and flu medications for their children, and some pharmacy chains are still limiting purchases on these important products.

The American Academy of Pediatrics stated that most children with respiratory syncytial virus, flu, and other respiratory illnesses can be treated at home. This makes it essential for families to be able to buy children’s medication.

“It is extremely scary for a parent to hold a sick child, unable to provide the medicine that child needs to feel better or lower a fever,” Ossoff said.

Doctors remind parents that pain relievers and suppressants don’t treat the source of an illness, so they aren’t essential for recovery.

“I wish I could say that acetaminophen or ibuprofen would heal us faster. That’s not necessarily the case. And so often it’s a comfort measure, which is certainly understandable, especially when it comes to children,” said Dr. Elizabeth Mack, chief of pediatric critical care for the Medical University of South Carolina.

Mack reminds people that the best way to avoid a medicine shortage is prevention – including vaccines for kids who are old enough.