- The Washington Times
Saturday, April 9, 2022

Mothers of infants are the latest group of consumers to feel the pinch of supply chain issues as a major drug-store chain announces it will ration baby formula.

Walgreens — the nation’s second-largest pharmacy with over 9,000 locations — is taking the extreme step of limiting purchases of formula, according to the company.

A Walgreens spokesperson confirmed they were limiting formula purchases to three per customer, telling CBS MoneyWatch it is due to “increased demand and various supplier issues.”

As of last month, 29% of the most popular baby formula products were out of stock across the country, according to Datasembly, which tracked the supply at over 11,000 stores. That number has increased by 17% since November. 

“This is a shocking number that you don’t see for other categories,” Ben Reich, CEO of Datasembly, told CBS MoneyWatch. “We’ve been tracking it over time, and it’s going up dramatically. We see this category is being affected by economic conditions more dramatically than others.”

To make things worse, Abbott Nutrition recalled its powdered baby formula products in February after five infants were hospitalized and two died after they were given the formula, the FDA said.

The shortage is troubling, but the Infant Nutrition Council of America urges parents not to hoard formula, advising instead that a 10-to-14-day supply is enough.

• Peter Santo can be reached at psanto@washingtontimes.com.

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