Opposition calls for Alberta to dump imported fever medicine amid health concerns

  • Canadian Press

EDMONTON — Alberta’s Opposition says it’s time to dump the remaining bottles of imported Turkish children’s fever medicine, given a new report that states it clogs hospital feeding tubes and can put newborns at risk.

NDP health critic Luanne Metz says Premier Danielle Smith’s government should check with health specialists to see if it can be used somewhere else, but it’s time to end the experiment in Alberta.

Metz made the comment after The Globe and Mail, citing internal documents, reported concerns the acetaminophen was clogging feeding tubes for fragile patients and risking damage to the intestines of newborns.

Alberta Health Services says the acetaminophen, known under the brand name Parol, was banned from neonatal intensive care units last spring, that no patients fell ill from the medication and that hospitals transitioned away from it in July.

The province bought 1.5 million bottles of Parol and the ibuprofen known as Pedifen a year ago, at a cost of $75 million, to help alleviate a domestic shortage in children’s fever medication.

About 15,000 bottles were distributed, and Health Minister Adriana LaGrange has said the outstanding medicine will be kept in reserve in case of future emergency.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 10, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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