Some Pharmacies Limit Sale of Baby Formula

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) — A report from Datasembly shows that 31 percent of baby formula was out of stock last month, a shortage driven by the same global supply chain issues that have inflated prices at the grocery store.

The issue is compounded by the recall of certain big name products. Back in February, the FDA found that certain batches of formula produced by Alimentum, Similac, and EleCare contained salmonella.

Now, CNN is reporting that CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, and Target are limiting the amount of formula that can be purchased at a given time, and according to Pharmacist Jacob Standifer, this is due to how larger companies source their formula.

“They may have to change up where they’re getting products from. A lot of the bigger stores, they typically order from set wholesalers, one or two places, whereas at the local level we can order from anybody we want, pretty much,” said Standifer.

While supplies are limited, Access has not capped how much formula a customer can buy.

“At this time, we’re still taking orders on it and not putting caps, but it just depends on the specific formulation that the patient’s needing,” Standifer added.

CNN reports that Walgreens and CVS are limiting purchases to three units per transaction, and Target is limiting online purchases to four units per transaction.

“If you buy four cans of formula for the week, that should be plenty for most babies. But if it’s over the month, obviously that’s not going to be the same story,” said Andrea Goins, Medical Director of Newborn Nurseries at Erlanger.

These caps are limited to individual transactions, however, and there is no evidence that multiple transactions cannot be made as they are needed.

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