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Medications become worryingly scarce

Calgary resident and Type 2 diabetic Ray Charette was left a little shaken after heading to his pharmacy earlier this month to refill a Diamicron prescription, which helps control blood-sugar levels.

Calgary resident and Type 2 diabetic Ray Charette was left a little shaken after heading to his pharmacy earlier this month to refill a Diamicron prescription, which helps control blood-sugar levels.

“They said they didn’t have any and weren’t sure when they would,” the 65-year-old recalled. “I was shocked ... I was told it would be at least a month.”

Charette was given a similar medication for the time being and has been able to get by.

“It’s more worrying for people that are worse than me, people with heart medication and so on,” he said. “This could be pretty serious.”

Lloyd Barran, a local contract pharmacist of 12 years, said the shortage has become frustrating for those in his line of work.

“The problem’s come up in the past to a minor degree, but never this bad,” said Barran, who works for some of the biggest pharmacies in Calgary.

“It’s really bad now.”

Alberta Health and Wellness spokesperson Andy Weiler said the situation cannot be attributed to one specific factor.

“Pharmacists and physicians are working with their patients to determine appropriate alternative medications when the usual drug is unavailable,” Weiler added.

 
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