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Is the United States Really Facing a Tampon Shortage Crisis?

Amidst all the suffering from inflation and supply chain issues, the supply of tampons has been hit hard, adding to the woes of women in the menstruating age group in the United States. The war in Ukraine has further reduced supply, as both Russia and Ukraine are major exporters of fertilizers, used for growing cotton.

Women are complaining on social media about the lack of tampons on supermarket shelves. The issue sparked national interest this week after an article in TIME magazine called the shortage of tampons and sanitary napkins “nobody’s talking”.

Procter & Gamble told Bloomberg that the company is “working hard to increase production to meet increased demand for our products.” The company owns a number of the top sanitary brands in the United States, including Tampax and Always.

A spokesperson for Edgewell Personal Care, which makes Playtex and ob tampons, said its inventory was “affected due to significant labor shortages caused by two separate Omicron surges in the United States. States and Canada in late 2021 and early 2022, respectively.”

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Tampon prices have risen significantly — nearly 10% from a year ago, according to Bloomberg. But an Amazon spokesperson denied price hike rumors, saying its policies “help ensure that sellers set competitive prices for their products”, and that the company actively monitors prices and removes offers that violate its fair pricing policy.

On Monday, New Hampshire US Senator Maggie Hassan wrote to the CEO of Procter & Gamble, urging the manufacturer to address the shortages, which she called “very troubling”.

Hassan cited a story in Time Magazine, in which a reporter could not find stamps in several states, and criticized the “price pricing” of items.

(with agency contributions)

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Post expires at 4:18pm on Friday June 24th, 2022