Some pharmacies seeing shortage of generic Tamiflu

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Flu season is in full swing across the country and here in Kansas we are continuing to feel the brunt of it.

To fight the flu, doctors are prescribing flu medicines, but the only problem is some of that medicine isn’t in stock.

Robert Tubbs is a Pharmacist at Dandurand Drugs.

He says they’ve seen a decent amount of people coming in to pick up Tamiflu, which is an antiviral medication used to treat and prevent influenza A and influenza B.

“Steady traffic, Tamiflu being prescribed for multiple family members a lot of the times, prophylactical and some being treated for the flu,” said Tubbs.

Tubbs says they’ve seen more people trying to get a hold of the generic, liquid form of the medicine.

“We did order more of the product at that point, and we ordered in, maybe, I think 14 bottles, but sometimes one patient gets two,” said Tubbs. “We just ran out on Friday last week here,” added Tubbs.

Just across town at Professional Pharmacy, it is much of the same story.

“We haven’t had any access to the liquid for pediatrics patients at all this season,” said Scot Pierce with Professional Pharmacy.

Pierce says it is a shortage that is being felt across the board.

“The demand is high and because of the demand across the country, it has just been a shortage across the board and more specifically to us,” said Pierce.

Both pharmacies say they have had the name brand in stock.

However, that can come with a pretty decent price tag.

KSN called around and saw prices as low as $115 to as high as $185 if you don’t have insurance.

Dr. Maggie Hagen, the Medical Director of Infection Prevention at Via Christi, says the Tamiflu is the best way to protect against the flu, as well as, to defend against the worsening symptoms.

“It doesn’t necessarily cure the virus, but it shortens the duration and severity of the illness, the symptoms the patient experiences, so it is going to have its best benefit if it is given within 48 hours of on set of symptoms,” said Dr. Hagen.

For those who’ve yet to get the flu, Dr. Hagen is still recommending that the best course of action is to go ahead and get the flu shot.


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