Expert Addresses Shortage of Kids’ Medications
Education about prescriptions for children is essential information for all parents.
Robyn Spizman Gerson is a New York Times best-selling author of many books, including “When Words Matter Most.” She is also a communications professional and well-known media personality, having appeared often locally on “Atlanta and Company” and nationally on NBC’s “Today” show. For more information go to www.robynspizman.com.
Getting educated about your children’s medications is important for all parents and speaking to your pediatrician is key. One Atlanta Davis Academy father answered timely questions regarding the concerns of parents and the rise in current colds, flus, and viruses. Not only is his personal story timely, but pediatric medications are also in the news.
The AJT asked David Johnson, co-founder of Genexa, a clean pharmaceutical company, to discuss the state of children’s medications amid news of shortages. He stated, “There are countless headlines about the children’s medicine shortage, specifically relating to children’s pain and fever medicines, and customers across the country are seeing empty shelves in the medicine aisle. This has naturally caused a lot of worry about what a possible medicine shortage means for customers and their families. Some retailers have gone as far as implementing limitations on the quantities that each customer can purchase of certain medicines.”
Impacting the shortage, Johnson adds, “As we’ve seen with all the latest case counts, seasonal illnesses, including flu, RSV and COVID, have been particularly brutal for young children this year with no signs of letting up. The demand for pain and fever medicines industry-wide has increased, but at Genexa we’ve been able to deliver an increased supply to our retail partners to meet the uptick in demand.
“Along with increasing our supply to key retail partners, we have just been approved to start selling kids’ pain and fever medicines in Canada as they have had an ongoing shortage of pain and fever medicines from other brands. What’s interesting is that Canadian news outlets have been covering the shortage of the legacy brand products in Canada since this summer, well before the spike in seasonal demand began. We’re thrilled to be able to work with our retail partners here and now in Canada to give parents a new (and clean) option on shelf with the same effective acetaminophen as the traditional brands.”
In reference to what inspired Johnson to get involved with the consumer pharmaceutical business, he said “As a dad of young children, I found myself spending more time in the medicine aisles and was frustrated by all the medicine labels filled with artificial inactive ingredients I couldn’t pronounce or understand. My cofounder Max (Spielberg) was also a new parent at the time, and we knew there had to be a way to make effective medicine without the artificial preservatives, sweeteners, and dyes.”
He added, “We were told by numerous manufacturers that it was impossible to make over the counter medicines without the artificial fillers that the legacy brands had been using for years. But we knew it was time to rethink these decades-old formulas and finally create a clean choice in the medicine aisle, both for our families and families everywhere. Six years later, Genexa is now making the first clean OTC medicines for the whole family.”
His company, Genexa makes medicines for infants, kids and adults in several OTC categories including cold and flu, pain and fever, digestion, and allergy. Johnson shared, “We’re currently in 60,000 retail stores in the U.S. and our top selling products include our Kids’ Pain & Fever and Kids’ Cough & Chest Congestion medicines as well as our Acetaminophen Extra Strength for adults.”
Regarding the news, Johnson shared, “Unlike others in the industry, we have not had any issues with supply. We manufacture our medicines in the U.S. and are committed to using clean, simple ingredients in our products. The size of our company allows us to be nimble during these market environments – we use a people-first approach and always have our ear to the customer so when there is a need in the marketplace, we can easily shift production to ensure we meet the increased demand that key retailers have asked us for.”
So, how does a parent navigate this with their pediatrician? Perhaps they ask about generic or other products in your category? Johnson answered, “We always advise that people speak with their doctor about the OTC medicines they’re taking and the options available. Before the launch of Genexa Kids’ Pain & Fever, the only acetaminophen medicine options on shelves were Children’s Tylenol and several private label brands. Our goal, from the very beginning, has always been to give parents more options to choose from in the medicine aisle.”
The medications that Genexa makes include timely formulas and Johnson explains, “The current shortage news is focused heavily on Children’s Tylenol and our Infants and Kids’ Pain & Fever products have the exact same effective active ingredient as in Children’s Tylenol, acetaminophen. However, that’s where the similarities between our product and the legacy brand end. Genexa Kids’ Pain & Fever does not include any artificial dyes, preservatives, sweeteners, and other synthetic fillers currently found in our competitors’ product.”
In addition, “The expiration date of Genexa’s products is comparable to competitor products. This shelf life makes it easy for parents to proactively stock their medicine cabinets since we know all too well that illnesses can hit our kids at the most inopportune times, and we want to make sure customers are prepared,” said Johnson.
So, what should parents do if they can’t find the legacy brand products on shelf? Johnson answered, “The first thing you should do is speak to your pharmacist or kids’ pediatrician. We are working with our network of over 20,000 doctors in our Healthcare Professionals program as well as top retail partners like CVS and Rite Aid to ensure their teams have Genexa’s products in stock – both with sampling at your doctor’s office and readily available for customers at your local pharmacy for when you need it most. Our products are available in over 60,000 retail storefronts including Walmart, CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens, and we are a top seller on Amazon. You can also find our products at Genexa.com.”