Chinese Demand For Baby Formula Turns To Prescription Market
Chinese demand for baby formula has now hit the prescription market, forcing some Australian mums to drive hours to find pharmacies with remaining stock.
Personal shoppers, known as 'daigou', are used to send products back to China, whether for profit or to supply family and friends.
While baby formula being sent back to China by daigou isn't new, it's the first time that Nestle has confirmed an unexpected surge in demand for tins of prescription formula.
Fairfax reported that Chinese shopping site Taobao listed prescription baby formula Alfamino for about $70 per tin, the Australian receipt showed that 27 tins were purchased.
Prescription formula can be bought without a prescription in Australia, but are more expensive.
The report listed a string of mothers whose babies rely on priscription formula, one of which was further restricted to just a single brand which didn't trigger his hives and anaphylactic reaction to his serious milk allergy. His mum was waiting for emergency tins from Nestle after calling chemists across Melbourne.
One mother was forced to make the six-hour round trip from Merredin in country Western Australia to Perth to get her baby’s monthly prescription.
“I guess if a tin doesn’t come through, I’ll have to take him to hospital... the government needs to do something," she told Fairfax.