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Supply chains issues may cause shortage of tampons

Jun 11, 2022

Supply chain issues may cause a shortage of tampons and pads at retailers across the country.

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Time says a possible tampon shortage is a supply chain issue that no one is talking about but could become as big of an issue as the baby formula shortage that happened recently.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, toilet paper, yeast, and flour all disappeared from store shelves but the items have made a comeback. Time says tampons have continued to be in short supply, leading to higher costs.

THe shortage of tampons was expected to be a short-term problem during the pandemic, according to CBS News but stores across the country are continuing to experience shortages two years later. There are alternatives including pads, period underwear, and menstrual cups so there are options but CBS News says that those options don’t work for everyone.

Procter Gamble, the parent company for Tampax, blamed the shortage on comedian Amy Schumer, according to Time. The company believes that her ad campaign in 2020 made Tampax the most popular tampon brand, increasing its demand, which is now causing a shortage. Time says this doesn’t explain the shortage for other brands like Playtex and o.b.

A Procter Gamble representative told CNN Business that the Tampax team is “producing tampons 24/7 to meet the increased demand.”

Time says part of the problem is because Procter Gamble is also facing issues with sourcing raw materials for tampons and pads. Getting the products to where they need to be and getting them on trucks to retailers have become a huge concern as well.

“Tampons are Class II medical devices, which means that because of quality control regulations, companies can’t put just anybody on the assembly line, so production lagged demand. And the raw materials that go into tampons—cotton, rayon, and sometimes pulp and plastic for applicators—have been some of the most in-demand raw materials throughout the pandemic as they’ve gone into medical products like personal protection equipment. As demand soared, supply shrank,” said Times Increased demand, staffing shortages, and raw material shortages have all contributed to the tampon shortage, which makes it even harder when it’s a necessary item that most women need on a regular basis.

People Magazine says part of the problem could be the war going on in Ukraine because that is where a substantial amount of the world’s fertilizer is produced.

Walgreen and CVS, according to CNN Business, say they are working with suppliers to restock tampons amid the shortage. Prices are expected to increase.

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