Some drugstores limiting purchase of children's medicines amid 'tripledemic'

"You've got two respiratory infections, not to mention COVID. It's like the perfect storm all at one time."

Beccah Hendrickson Image
Wednesday, December 21, 2022
Some drugstores limiting purchase of children's medicines
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The Consumer Healthcare Products Association says demand for these pediatric medicines is up 65% from this time last year.

PROSPECT PARK, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Major pharmacies are limiting purchases of children's pain relief medicine as demand skyrockets due to a myriad of respiratory illnesses.

CVS and Walgreens have both instituted limits on pediatric medicine purchases while Rite Aid has listed several medicines as out of stock and unavailable to purchase online.

At Delmar Pharmacy, a privately owned pharmacy in Folcroft, the phone has been ringing off the hook for medicine in short supply.

"We're getting a lot of phone calls. More phone traffic because people are just so discouraged going store to store," said Brian Walker, the owner.

His store has the medicine in stock, however, the shelves are thin.

"You've got two respiratory infections, not to mention COVID. It's like the perfect storm all at one time," he said.

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association says demand for these pediatric medicines is up 65% from this time last year, but manufacturers say there is not a shortage of medicine.

"They assure us there is not a nationwide shortage, but there are intermittent out of stocks and that's why some retailers have started to limit some purchases," said Anita Brikman, the senior vice president of communications for CHPA.

CVS is allowing customers to buy only two children's pain relief products at a time in-store and online.

Wallgreens is limiting customers to six products online in one purchase.

Rite Aid's website has listed several pediatric medicines that are either out of stock or not available online.

"They want to prevent stocking up. Because if someone purchases much more than they need, that means another family, another child might not be able to get the medicines they need," said Brikman.

As customers go store to store looking for medicine, Walker is reminding parents to keep their local pharmacies in mind.

"Check us out. Don't forget that we're here because we may have exactly what you're looking for and a lot of times we're pulling that off for parents," he said.

Experts say if you have any questions about how much medicine is appropriate to buy to get your child through flu season, contact your pediatrician.