Supplies of Maalox dwindling across Canada
Published Monday, May 28, 2012 4:26PM EDT
If you've been looking for Maalox in recent weeks and coming up empty-handed, you're not alone. Stores across the country have been running out of the popular heartburn remedy and there's no word on when they might get more.
A spokesperson with Shoppers Drug Mart, the country's largest drug store chain, tells CTVNews.ca that a number of its stores in recent weeks have been posting "Out of Stock" signs on shelves where Maalox products should be found.
The shortages stem from a shutdown of the single plant that produces Maalox, along with a number of over-the-counter Novartis products, including Benefibre, Buckley's, Excedrin, NeoCitran, Otrivin and Triaminic.
Novartis Canada issued an announcement back in March that retailers might soon experience shortages of all of these products because of "upgrade work going on at one of (its) manufacturing facilities."
The facility being upgraded is a medication plant in Lincoln, Neb., that was shut down in January at the same time that Novartis recalled some bottles of Excedrin, Bufferin and Gas-X over concerns that the bottles could contain broken tablets or stray pills from other medicines.
Novartis U.S. said the temporary shutdown would allow the company "to accelerate maintenance and improvements and to continue to strengthen standards at the site." At that time, Novartis said it planned to gradually resume operations at the Lincoln site after the upgrades "and in agreement with the FDA."
Since there is still no word yet on when those upgrades will be complete, there is also no word on how long it will be until supplies of Maalox and other Novartis OTC products are restocked across North America.