The child is sick, lying in bed with pain and fever. Not an easy situation for many parents. Help the child with a pain and fever juice? Hardly possible at the moment. Because for about six weeks there has been almost no fever juice for children in the pharmacies in the West Palatinate.
And there is no end in sight, says the Pharmacists’ Association Rheinland-Pfalz. Alternative products, such as suppositories, are currently often out of stock due to high demand, says Tanja Hoffmeister from Hofenfelsapotheke in Zweibrücken.
As reported by the German pharmacy association ABDA, fever juices are particularly popular among parents of sick children because they can be swallowed by children without any problems. If you didn’t get any juice in your medicine chest and you try it on the internet, you currently have bad cards. Even mail order pharmacies often run out of stock.
Pharmacies could make fever juice themselves – but it is very expensive
Brigitte Lutz-Weiser from the city pharmacy in Kaiserslautern can no longer sell painkillers to parents of sick children. The shelves are empty and there is no sign of restocking. But, she explains, they could also make the fever juice themselves at the pharmacy if necessary. For this purpose, suppositories or painkillers for adults are processed in such a way that they receive the correct dosage for children. On the one hand, this is very time-consuming and on the other hand very expensive. In addition, a pediatrician must explicitly prescribe this juice so that the pharmacy can take action at all.
Juice is only produced in-house in special cases
The Federal Institute for Drugs currently plans to produce the juice in pharmacies only in individual cases. The institute explains the shortfall with an extraordinary demand in 2022 that cannot be explained. Only if this shortage cannot be remedied in the foreseeable future will there be a recommendation for large-scale production of the juice in the pharmacies themselves. However, this recommendation has not yet been issued.
For about six weeks, there has been almost no fever juice for children in the pharmacies in the Palatinate. And there is no end in sight, explains the Rheinland-Pfalz Association of Pharmacists.
There is a shortage of raw materials for production
The Rhineland-Palatinate Association of Pharmacists also confirms the acute shortage of fever juice for children. Peter Schreiber, managing director of the association in Mainz, told SWR that the situation had worsened. And this medicine shortage is different from the previous ones. With other medicines, you can often switch to other manufacturers, this is not the case with children’s fever juice.
According to the association, the health insurance companies only have a contract with one manufacturer – naturally with the cheapest one. This one produces in China and India and has problems getting the raw materials for the production of fever juice. According to Peter Schreiber, both ibuprofen and paracetamol juice are hardly available. And the delivery problem is not only a country-wide one, but even a Europe-wide one.
Alternatives for sick children
Suppositories could be an alternative, but even those are hard to find, says Brigitte Lutz-Weiser. It would be better at the moment to resort to tried and tested home remedies. In addition to leg wraps, a cool washcloth on the child’s forehead would also be a way to bring down the fever. However, the home remedies require that the parents make time for intensive care of the sick child. A lot of fluid is very important, and if the fever rises above 40 degrees, then, says Brigitte Lutz-Weiser, a doctor should be sought as soon as possible.