A group of Massachusetts Democrats on Thursday demanded answers from Johnson & Johnson regarding shortages of children’s Tylenol and Motrin amid the current viral respiratory season, wanting to know when drug availability will return to normal.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), along with Democratic Representatives Ayanna Pressley, Katherine Clark and Lori Trahan, addressed their letter to Joaquin Duato, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Johnson & Johnson.
“Our constituents across Massachusetts are experiencing a shortage of Tylenol and Motrin products for infants and children as this difficult cold and flu season rages on, compounded by an upsurge in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and COVID-19” , they wrote.
Tylenol and Motrin are both over-the-counter medications commonly used as pain relievers and fever reducers, sold as brand-name versions of ibuprofen and acetaminophen, respectively.
Demand for these drugs has increased in recent weeks as parents deal with the ongoing flu season, which has arrived earlier than usual this year, as well as surging cases of RSV. Cases and hospitalizations for both viruses appear to be declining, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In response to growing demand, many pharmacies limited the amount of drugs customers could purchase at one time.
“As medical providers do their best to triage in-person care and provide advice on home remedies for monitoring and treatment, there is no doubt that these drugs are essential,” the lawmakers said. .
On both Tylenol’s and Motrin’s websites, Johnson & Johnson says it continues to experience “strong consumer demand driven by an extremely difficult cold and flu season.” While acknowledging that customers are struggling to find their products in stores, the company said it “is not experiencing widespread shortages” of either drug.
In their letter, the lawmakers demanded to know when the company became aware of drug shortages, how much production increased and when availability is expected to return to normal. They also asked for available “regional and city-by-city” data on the shortage.
The Hill has contacted Johnson & Johnson for comment.