AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – With the number of flu cases steadily rising, so are the prescriptions for Tamiflu.
Many local retail and independent pharmacies are having trouble keeping the antiviral drug on its shelves.
Associate Chief Medical Doctor Phillip Coule with Augusta Health says this flu season has made the drug almost impossible for patients to get.
“There is a little bit of a shortage of Tamiflu or Oseltamivir in the community,” said Coule. “I don’t know if the local pharmacies have had the opportunity to replenish their stock, but I know as of a day or two ago, most of the retail pharmacies are out.”
Barney’s Pharmacy is just one store of many that have seen a recent spike in customers transferring their prescriptions due to other retail pharmacies are running out or just don’t have it in stock.
Pharmacist Amanda Khalil, says they too are no stranger to the shortage because wholesale suppliers are allocating which pharmacies get the Tamiflu restock.
“We’ve order about 72,000 thousand dollars worth of Tamiflu just this month,” said Khalil. “As for how much we dispensed, we’ve dispensed over 550 prescriptions just in January. So quite a lot.”
Before getting checked into the emergency room or doctors office, doctors require all patients to wear a medical mask if they are experiencing any flu-like symptoms
However, it’s not just patients in the emergency room that need medical masks Khail says she’s encouraging people to stock up on Lysol and other antibacterial items if you been in contact with someone who has tested positive for the flu.
“We got plenty of Lysol, plenty of wipes,” said Khalil. “Defiantly encouraging everyone to come that, especially if you’ve been around people that are sick.”
If you are in need of Tamiflu and have a hard time getting your prescription filled, doctors say to call your pharmacy before driving there.