The federal health department says it is “taking steps to alleviate the impact of shortages” of salbutamol inhalers reported by some manufacturers, but in the meantime, most patients receive only one inhaler at a time when ‘they fill their prescription.
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“Health Canada understands the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic and recognizes that Canadians may fear they will not be able to get the drugs they depend on for themselves and their loved ones,” the agency said in a statement released on Friday. .
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“The health and safety of Canadians is Health Canada’s top priority.”
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The press release added that Health Canada is collaborating with federal departments, provinces and territories as well as with international partners on the issue.
“This includes exploring access to international supplies and working with companies that can increase production to increase supplies to Canada.”
The government agency added that its goal is to ensure that all Canadians continue to have access to the medicines they need during the pandemic.
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For people who use salbutamol inhalers, Health Canada has suggested continuing to take their regular respiratory medications “as prescribed” to help keep their condition under control and to reduce their need for the inhaler, which makes breathing easier by relaxing the muscles of the airways.
Canadians should keep track of their doses of salbutamol and take the time to collect refills from the pharmacy, said Health Canada.
He added that they should not throw away recently expired inhalers unless they have already obtained a replacement. However, Canadians should speak to a healthcare practitioner regarding the use of an expired inhaler, the department added.
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To prevent drug and drug shortages in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, Health Canada has asked Canadians to buy only the amount of drugs they need and health professionals to avoid ” prescribe or distribute larger supplies of drugs than necessary. ”
The ministry suggested that people who need salbutamol inhalers check the Drug Shortage Canada website for updates and “estimated replenishment dates”.
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