Edmonton tech startup helps sort out scarcity of youngsters’ ache medicine

Edmonton tech startup helps sort out scarcity of youngsters’ ache medicine

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When medicine is in brief provide, expertise that helps prescribe custom-made medicine on the click on of a button could also be simply what the physician ordered.

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On Friday, Edmonton startup KemNet launched a web-based software that connects drug prescribers with pharmacies and compounding labs all through the province so clients can entry youngsters’s ache medicine, particularly acetaminophen and ibuprofen, throughout a nationwide scarcity of child’s Tylenol and Advil (the respective model names for these medicine).

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Bridging individuals with medicine in instances of want is likely one of the causes founder Morenike Olaosebikan began KemNet in February. Whereas the platform has been working to fulfil different medicine within the meantime, shortage of pediatric ache meds represents the primary time the corporate has responded to a scarcity.

“If there was ever a foul time to expire of ache and fever drugs for kids, it could be proper earlier than college and childcare goes to renew,” Olaosebikan instructed Postmedia in a cellphone interview. “These youngsters are going again to teams the place they will contract infections and need to take care of fevers and aches.”

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Basically, the software works by permitting drug prescribers reminiscent of physicians, nurse practitioners or pharmacists to put a buyer order for kids’s acetaminophen and ibuprofen in syrup, gummy or chewable pill kind. A collaborating pharmacy on the platform then contacts the client to substantiate the main points earlier than arranging for a compounding lab to fulfil the order and ship it to the pharmacy for buyer supply or pickup — all inside 24 hours.

Nonetheless, clients and not using a prescriber can merely enter their very own data, and a pharmacist will comply with as much as assess the order, Olaosebikan stated.

The concept for the platform got here to Olaosebikan after travelling via African international locations in the summertime of 2018 to raised perceive drug fairness and the way individuals can entry medicine throughout a scarcity, she stated. She’s additionally a licensed pharmacist with 13 years of expertise, she added, and has owned pharmacies over the previous decade.

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“I had this perception that compounding is a viable, scalable answer to drug shortages,” she stated, including that compounding refers back to the course of by which laboratories formulate medicine from substances and customise the product to satisfy particular person wants — within the occasion of an allergy for instance.

Versus drug manufacturing, which is federally regulated, compounding is completed in a smaller capability and usually managed on the provincial degree, stated Jody Shkrobot, medical assistant professor with the College of Alberta’s college of pharmacy and pharmaceutical science.

Whereas hassle accessing energetic pharmaceutical substances (API) and restrictions at manufacturing websites can have ripple results on Canadian and world provide, compounders have the power to acquire substances from completely different sources.

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“Which will give them slightly bit extra flexibility than, say, among the bigger producers,” he added.

Olaosebikan stated there are at present 30 collaborating pharmacies and three compounding labs on the platform spanning from Fort McMurray in northern Alberta to Lethbridge within the south. She plans to scale the enterprise throughout North America in three years, which can assist fulfil one other vital a part of the platform’s perform.

As KemNet is used to fulfil and doc extra orders, it obtains data that can be utilized to foretell the time and site of medicine shortages, she defined.

“That’s what’s giving us the intel on how dangerous this Tylenol scarcity is from the affected person or buyer aspect,” she stated, including that between Tuesday and the launch of the kids’s ache medicine software on Friday, the amount of orders on the platform have tripled.

Nonetheless, she’s assured the system can meet the demand. In any case, she added, compounding laboratories have had no hassle acquiring the supplies essential to formulate the kids’s medicine.

An announcement from Johnson and Johnson, which makes Tylenol, has attributed its personal share of the scarcity to “elevated consumer-driven demand.”

The KemNet software for kids’s ache medicine is accessible at shortages.kemnet.ca.

— With information from Postmedia

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