BILLINGS — The nationwide baby formula shortage continues to take its toll on families, but a Billings company is part of the solution.
All American Pharmaceutical in Billings Heights has begun to manufacture formula, and one brand is already available for purchase.
“The shortage has continued to grow,” said the owner of All American Pharmaceutical, Dr. Jeff Golini.
The nationwide baby shortage formula is hitting Billings close to home.
“We do our diaper banks on Tuesdays and there were several moms in tears because they just literally couldn’t find the formula for their babies,” said Felicia Burg, development coordinator at Family Promise, a nonprofit that helps families in need.
Family Promise has seen the impact firsthand. The nonprofit holds diaper banks every Tuesday, and Burg says the need for formula has doubled.
“We served over 60 families in two hours so that’s basically a family a minute coming to get diapers and formula,” said Burg.
Fortunately, All American Pharmaceutical will soon be adding to the local supply.
“If we can at least have some available for Montana, you know, we might not be able to solve the entire problem, but we can at least do our part,” said Golini.
All American Pharmaceutical has found a loophole in federal regulations to bring the formula to market. The company is licensed to manufacture baby formula, but they’re not allowed to sell it. However, they can sell the formula if it's labeled for toddlers.
“I can legally produce it but I can’t sell it without doing a $3.5 million study, which is impossible to do,” said Golini.
Golini had looked into producing baby formula about five years ago, but the FDA wanted him to conduct a study with 1,000 mothers and newborn babies.
“We are petitioning the FDA to be able to produce infant without doing those studies and getting it on the markets,” said Golini.
Golini says the product is safe for babies and the ingredients are no different from other major brands, such as Enfamil or Similac. He’s hopeful the FDA will eventually approve his formula for babies.
“It’ll be the same formula, it will just say under 12 months or infant instead of toddler,” said Golini.
The formula will be available for sale at Pharm 406 in Billings starting next week. You can also purchase it on the All American Pharmaceutical website at https://allamericansupps.com/product-category/baby-formula/.
Golini says the company will be conducting giveaways for the formula soon. You can visit the website to register.
Family Promise also gives out diapers and formula every Tuesday in front of their facility. They have a partnership with Enfamil and receive donations from the community for their formula. They are not affiliated with All American Pharmaceutical.
“We have formula on hand that wasn’t part of the recall,” said Burg, referring to the recent recall of Similac formula after a failure at a Michigan manufacturing plant.
These local organizations are hoping they can relieve parents who are trying to figure out how to feed their little ones.
“There’s a need you know and it’s really our responsibility to do what we can do to help out,” said Golini.
To learn more about Family Promise’s diaper bank distribution, visit Home (familypromiseyv.org).