Infant formula shortages

June 15, 2022

How to handle the shortage of extensively hydrolyzed (EHF) and amino acid-based (AA) powdered infant formulas.

Canada is experiencing a shortage of extensively hydrolyzed (EHF) and amino acid-based (AA) powdered infant formula for community use. Some examples of these types of formulas include

  • Similac® Alimentum®,
  • Nutramigen® A+®,
  • Pregestimil® A+®,
  • Neocate® Infant DHA & ARA, and
  • Puramino® A+.

Canada is currently not experiencing a shortage of standard infant formulas.

To facilitate communication with healthcare professionals about infant formula shortages in Alberta, a new Alberta Health Services (AHS) webpage has been launched: Infant Formula Shortages.

Please check the webpage regularly. AHS will be sharing updating documents and links as available.

Important messages from AHS:

  • EHF or AA formulas should be prescribed only for infants with a specific indication (allergy or severe GI intolerance).
  • Health Canada has released a national clinical decision tree entitled Use of Specialized Infant Formula During a Shortage. This is intended to support healthcare providers to make informed formula choices while rationing the use of specialty infant formulas.
  • The document Typical formula consumption amounts for Healthy Term Infants is intended to provide pharmacists with a tool to estimate how much of each formula an infant would typically require. This will help when rationing the use of specialty infant formulas.
  • Prescribers are asked to consider if it would be safe to transition an infant using one of these formulas to an alternate formula.
  • If greater than 12 months, consider transition to a follow-up formula such as Neocate® Junior or Vivonex® Pediatric.
  • If an infant is greater than six months of age with a cow’s milk protein allergy, soy formula may be considered if a tolerance to soy protein has been established under physician guidance.
  • Consider if a lactose-free or partially hydrolyzed formula could meet the infant’s needs if the patient is not tolerating a standard infant formula with mild GI intolerance (e.g., Enfamil A+® Lactose Free, Similac™ Total Comfort, Nestle® Good Start® Plus 1).
  • Health Canada is allowing some EHF to be imported into Canada to support these shortages—see the link on AHS webpage.
  • Pharmacies have been asked to keep these formulas behind the counter and limit sales to prevent stockpiling.

For questions or help accessing formula contact: Enteral.Nutrition@ahs.ca.


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