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Supply chain shortage on flu medicine across north Alabama

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 3:56 AM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Flu season is just beginning, and several Pharmacies throughout North Alabama are reporting a shortage in flu medication like Tamiflu and Xofluza.

Last year flu cases were almost nonexistent. But, this year with less masking and social distancing flu cases could be up. Now, there’s a shortage of medication.

Pharmacist and Co-owner of Athens Pharmacy, Phillip Presley says Xofluza is the main issue at Athens Pharmacy.

“There is a single 40-milligram tablet and a single 80-milligram tablet. The 80 milligram is the one we can’t get and that’s the adult dose,” said Presley.

Not only can that impact your health, but also your wallet.

“The issue this creates is it is the same price no matter which strength. So you can say well we will do just two 40 but the problem is that is twice as much cost and generally, your insurance is not going to go for that,” said Presley.

Athens Pharmacy still has Tamiflu but with its five-day course of therapy, it’s not ideal for most patients.

“The advantage of Xofluza is it’s a newer drug so it has better coverage perhaps and it’s…. One dose,” said Presley.

Presley says we should keep implementing certain COVID precautions as strict as last year.

“For whatever reason, we didn’t have any last year. Now we sit because COVID overrode that or we misdiagnosed it some with COVID or was it because we were all wearing masks, washing our hands, and staying away from each other….Which helps with the flu,” said Presely.

Other pharmacists say in the meantime some of their patients are clinging on to medicine that can treat their symptoms like Mucinex and Tylenol.

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