Parents are being urged to consider a ‘cold medicine shoppery’ after a new report has found the number of children in Australia dying of pneumonia or other infectious diseases has doubled since 2009.
The ABC reported on Wednesday that a new analysis of coronavirus cases by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) found the increase in children dying of respiratory infections is due to a surge in cold medicine supply chains.
“It’s been an absolute crisis,” said the mother of three.
“(The rise) has been driven by the cold medicine shopping industry and the people in charge of that,” she said.
“[We’re] seeing it in the same areas as the cold, it’s the same places, but we’re seeing it at a different level, so we’re getting to the point where we can’t have any more cold medicine.”
The NHMRC analysis of data from coronaviral cases between 2009 and 2015 found the proportion of children aged between four and 15 who died of respiratory infection was up by 70 per cent.
In the same time period, the proportion in Australia who had died from respiratory infections was down by more than half.
As a result, children are dying at higher rates of pneumonia, bronchitis, and other infectious illnesses.
Professor Paul Bledsoe, who led the research, said he believed there was a “skewed” picture in terms of cold medicine demand in Australia, which is likely to be a result of supply chain changes.
“It is certainly not true that demand for cold medicine has decreased as much as the market thinks,” he said.
“The truth is, as you look at the data, the numbers have gone up.”
In many ways, the picture is more complicated than it seems.
“Professor BledSOe said the rise in deaths from pneumonia and other infections is probably a result in part of “the increased supply chain” in cold stores and pharmacies.”
As the supply chain gets better and better, and the supply chains become more robust, the price of cold medicines gets cheaper,” he told ABC Radio.
But Dr Mark Tait, a professor of paediatrics at Curtin University, said that while the data from the NHMCC did not definitively prove a link between cold medicine sales and increased cases of respiratory illness, it suggested a link with increased supply chains in supply chains, particularly in pharmacies.
Dr Tait said he thought that “the cold medicine shopping is probably more likely to have a direct impact on the increase of hospitalisations for respiratory infections in Australia”.”
I think the increase is probably due to the increased supply of cold tablets, and I think the cold tablets are being sold to people in a way that is probably not in a healthy way, and we don’t want that,” he explained.”
If we’re going to have more hospitalisations, we have to do more to reduce the amount of oxygen that people are breathing, so it’s probably the best place to go.
“Dr Tindley said the rising number of deaths from respiratory illnesses was a serious issue, but he believed that cold medicine manufacturers should work to reduce supply chains that were linked to the increasing number of respiratory illnesses.”
There’s a real opportunity to change the supply of that cold and get cold tablets out there, which can reduce the incidence of hospitalisation and increase the life expectancy,” he advised.
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