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B.C. moves specialized infant formula behind pharmacy counters to preserve supply

The Ministry of Health said there is no shortage of regular formulas
FILE An employee walks near empty shelves where baby formula would normally be located at a CVS in New Orleans on Monday, May 16, 2022. President Joe Biden’s administration has announced new steps to ease the national shortage of baby formula, including allowing more imports from overseas. (Chris Granger/The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate via AP)

Pharmacies across B.C. will begin keeping specialized baby formula behind the counter to ensure supplies amid ongoing shortages.

In a news release, the province said there is no shortage of regular formulas, however, there is a shortage of certain hypoallergenic formulas for babies with food allergies and certain medical conditions. This includes extensively hydrolyzed formulas and amino acid-based formulas.

“Manufacturers are distributing hypoallergenic formulas for public purchase exclusively to pharmacies until the supply stabilizes,” the release states. “The Ministry of Health encourages people to remain in regular contact with their local pharmacy to ensure they have the formula they need.”

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Under the new guidelines, parents looking to purchase hypoallergenic formulas will have to speak with a pharmacist who will guide them to the formula they need. Families will be limited to purchasing only seven to 10 days of supply at one time. Pharmacists can make exceptions for families who live in remote areas or have barriers to accessing pharmacies.

The guidelines will be in place until supply shortages ease.

Shortages have been impacting families across Canada and the United States since the closure of Abbott’s manufacturing plant in Sturgis, Michigan due to bacterial contamination. The plant was reopened on June 4, but recent flooding has closed the plant once again.


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