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Local pharmacist talks shortage of over-the-counter medicine and antibiotics

Steve Gabell says there’s not enough liquid Tylenol or Advil to go around.

Gabell, a pharmacist and the president of the local Green Party of Ontario constituency office, says the medications are “pretty much impossible” for people to access due to a shortage.

“We’re getting some deliveries in, and it’s disappearing out the door almost as soon as it comes in,” Gabell says. Other medications impacted by the shortage include antibiotics like amoxicillin, which is frequently prescribed to children to treat infections. 

Gabell calls that particular medication going on back-order a “nightmare scenario.”

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“If that goes on back-order, it’s going to have a knock-on effect on other antibiotics,” he explains, “and we’re seeing so much sickness in kids at the moment, so as a pharmacist, and a parent myself of a two-year-old, I’m very worried about what this winter is going to bring.”

Gabell says he thinks the government re-introducing mask mandates would help make the shortage easier on hospitals and the healthcare system.

“Wear a mask,” he says. “If you’re in any indoor setting at all, wear a mask. Encourage all your friends and family to wear a mask. I know it’s maybe not the easiest thing for kids in school, with peer pressure and other people not wearing masks, but if you’ve got high school or younger kids, get them to wear a mask at school.”

He’s also urging everyone eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and influenza. You can visit the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit’s website to learn more about both diseases.

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