Information updated June 6, 2022
Canada is experiencing a shortage of specialty infant formulas, specifically extensively hydrolyzed infant formulas and amino acid-based formulas, designed for babies with food allergies and certain medical conditions. This shortage is due to the closure of Abbott Nutrition’s U.S. based facility earlier this year.
Please note: Saskatchewan is not experiencing a shortage of regular cow milk-based commercial infant formula. While a family may not be able to find their usual or preferred brand of formula, regular cow milk-based commercial infant formula are not included in this shortage.
Concerned parents should discuss with a health care professional such as a family physician, pediatrician, nurse practitioner, or dietitian to determine appropriate feeding options for their infant, especially if they have allergies or special formula needs.
Pediatric dietitians can work closely with impacted families to provide safe and appropriate nutrition options and support them during this time. Hospitals in Saskatchewan have access to dietitian expertise and contact information to help navigate feeding challenges and formula selection.
The Therapeutic Nutritional Products Program (TNPP) available through Saskatchewan Aids to Independent Living (SAIL) provides assistance towards the cost of specialized nutritional products for people with complex medical conditions who rely on those products as their primary nutritional source. Program benefits are cost shared between clients and the Ministry of Health. The program is aware of the shortages and has been reassessing clients’ coverage when requested based on the cost of alternative products.
The Saskatchewan Ministry of Health and Saskatchewan Health Authority are monitoring supply levels, and are in contact with Health Canada and suppliers to get these specialty products to families that need them.
Health Canada is actively working to mitigate the effects of the shortage by engaging suppliers from across the country, allowing the importation and sale of equivalent infant formulas and working with manufacturers to facilitate production and importation of this product where possible.
People are asked not to buy specialty infant formula unless recommended by a health care provider. This will help preserve supply of specialty formulas for those infants who depend on these formulas due to their specific medical needs.
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