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Speciality Infant Formula Shortage

Information for health professionals

Learn more about which infant formulas are limited or unavailable, how to ensure you are using the formulas as intended, and which formulas are temporarily approved by Health Canada to support infant feeding during this temporary shortage.

Current state

The closure of a large infant formula manufacturing plant in the United States has resulted in a global shortage of infant formula for babies with allergies (Health Canada Advisory).

Canada continues to experience a limited supply of specialized infant formulas:
  • amino acid-based infant formulas (AAF)
  • extensively hydrolyzed infant formulas (EHF)
These formulas are often used as the primary source of nutrition for infants with metabolic disorders, severe gastrointestinal diseases and allergic intolerance. 

Clinical decision tree

A national clinical decision tree entitled, “Use of Specialized Infant Formula During a Shortage” was developed to support health care providers across the country to guide treatment decisions, and support parents and caregivers to make appropriate formula choices while rationing the use of specialized infant formulas. 

Health Canada facilitated bringing together experts from a broad community of health care stakeholders for its development, including: Canadian Pediatric Society, Canadian Pharmacists Association, Food Allergy Canada, Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Dietitians of Canada, Hospital for Sick Children and McMaster Children’s Hospital.  

This tool offers specific guidance to health care providers when counseling families, discussing safe alternatives, and conserving limited national supplies of specialized formulas. 

Imported formula products

Health Canada is monitoring the supply situation and is working with manufacturers to import product from countries with similar manufacturing practices and standards.

The Government has recently updated its interim policy on importation, which includes a recent update to its current list of products highlighting imported formulas now available to Canadians. 

Additional resources and support documents

SOURCE: Speciality Infant Formula Shortage ( )
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