Random Thoughts

Day #78: Supply & Demand

After yesterday’s chat with the doctor, I got a follow up call from the pharmacist confirming receipt of my new prescription with them. They could have it delivered and charge again the credit card on file, which was really good to hear. And, by the way, said drug was delivered about 10 minutes ago. So very happy with that.

What I wasn’t happy about, and have no control over, is whether I get my usual brand name blood pressure meds, or a generic version. The pharmacist called me at about 8:30 last night—they fill delivery orders in the evening for the next day, ergo, working very long hours. They open at 8 in the morning too. Anyway, she called to tell me they couldn’t supply my usual brand name. It’s been on back order with them, and across the country, for the last 3 months. And that they would have to issue me with a generic version. I said that was okay (although me and everyone else will have no choice in the matter, it’s that or end up in hospital. Or worse.)

After her call, I went online to find out that it’s not just here in Canada, who are having problems, but all over the world. There is 4 key drugs that are becoming scarce, as the pharmacy association pointed out to the Canadian Government. Drugs for blood pressure, diabetes, and insulin mostly.

It comes down to the fact that key ingredients are mass produced in India and China, mostly, and they’re unable to supply these key components. This is, of course, going to have a ripple effect. And, I can see, the next wave of people dying, unnecessarily, will be those heavily reliant on any of these drugs, should the shortage become critical.

And believe me when I say, I hope we don’t come to that, as I might be in that group, the way things are going.

That said. The further I researched, the more confident I am that here, at least, in Canada, our current government is willing to look at manufacturing generic versions, on Canadian soil. And or ramping up production through aid to companies who already produce either the chemicals necessary, and or the drugs themselves. Thereby getting ahead of what could become a huge problem.

I sincerely hope that Trudeau follows through on this, and I’ll be following along to see if he does. Because I think we’re going to find this happening across the board, not just here, with drugs. But many other items we have taken for granted, that we import from elsewhere. Everything from here on out, is going to be different. So that in-country manufacturing, and growing food, is going to become a key focus over the coming few years, if not, permanently.

From food, to drugs, to general manufacturing of everything from clothes to household items. We might have to rethink how we produce, what we produce, and where we sell those products: at home, or abroad. Is profit going to be a factor, or survival?

Yes, the SF writer in me plays out scenarios, looking at ‘what ifs’ and analysing possibilities. I hope it doesn’t come to worse case scenarios, but it just might, if we don’t start planning now for eventualities.

Time to plant my balcony garden, I think, and start saving seeds.

Regardless of where ever you are in the world, stay safe and take care.


4 replies on “Day #78: Supply & Demand”

Alexandra I think this si exactly what we’ll have to do: rethink where we produce some key goods in cas another pandemic hits us!

Exactly, Sophie. We rely to much on other countries for way too much. And while this might work under most circumstances with back and forth trade across the world. Throw in a lengthy pandemic, loss of life, and we should really rethink how and where we buy and source products from.

Indeed, Jonetta. And I’m sure we’re going to have to deal with a lot of these kind of problems the longer we’re dealing with the knock on effect from this pandemic. There could be a lot more shortages coming sooner rather than later.

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