Due to a global shortage of infant formulas for infants with food allergies and certain medical conditions, Canada is experiencing an acute shortage of extensively hydrolyzed formula (EHF) for moderate food allergies, and amino acid formulas (AAF) for complex or severe food allergies. Several specialty formulas now available and in stock in limited quantities in Manitoba and can be ordered from McKesson. Canada has not seen a shortage of the regular infant formula.
When assisting patients with formula choices, please refer to the Use of Specialized Infant Formula during a Shortage Decision Tree.
A provincial working group has been convened to coordinate the response to the shortage of specialized infant formulas in Manitoba and will update healthcare providers through Shared Health and Manitoba Health communications channels. Please see the communication to healthcare providers from Manitoba Health here.
Pharmacy professionals with questions can contact Population.PublicHealth@gov.mb.ca for more information.
The College and the provincial working group on infant formula shortage strongly recommend that pharmacists consider measures to manage supply of amino acid-based formulas and extensively hydrolyzed infant formulas via the following:
- Keeping specialty formula behind the counter to ensure supply for those infants who need it most.
- Limiting purchases of regular formula, given the potential pressure this specialized formula shortage could have on regular formula supply. It is also recommended that pharmacies consider placing purchase limits on all formula products (e.g., providing a two-week supply of formula). The CPhA has provided a resource document on typical formula consumption amounts for healthy term infants here.
- Reserving specialty formulas where possible and avoid, unless necessary, transferring children to more specialized products.
- Ordering hypoallergenic formulas only upon request by a parent or caregiver, as recommended by Health Canada, until supply has stabilized.
Resources for Pharmacy Professionals
- Use of Specialized Infant Formula During a Shortage – decision tree
- List of imported products, with printable labels – Health Canada
- Hypoallergenic infant formula shortage – Information for pharmacy professionals – Canadian Pharmacists Association (availability and distribution of hypoallergenic infant formula during the shortage)
- Interim policy on importation – Health Canada
- Communicating with patients – Information for families factsheet – Health Canada
- List of hypoallergenic infant formulas that may be available in English and in French
Manufacturer Communications for Health Professionals
- SMA® ALFAMINO® and SMA® ALTHÉRA® – July 13, 2022 (Letter to Pharmacists)
- SMA® ALTHÉRA® July 22 , 2022
- SMA® Alfamino® July 22, 2022
- Nutramigen® Liquid Concentrate – June 13, 2022(Reckitt/Mead Johnson Nutrition, Canada)
- Gerber® Good Start® Extensive HA® – June 15, 2022(Nestlé Canada Inc)
- Similac® Alimentum® 32 oz. (946 mL) – June 17, 2022 (Abbott Nutrition)
Resources for Patients
- Information for Families during the shortage of Formula for Infants with Food Allergies (Health Canada)
- Is there a powdered infant formula shortage in Canada? Myths, facts and suggestions (Healthy Parenting Winnipeg)