Coronavirus prompts fear of respiratory drug shortage

Pharmacists are worried about a potential shortage of respiratory drugs as fear of the coronavirus outbreak has prompted many people to stock up on things like inhalers and nebulizers, the New York Post reported

AmerisourceBergen reportedly sent pharmacists a list March 5 of respiratory drugs that are in short supply, according to the New York Post. The drugs include nebulizer solutions and two types of generic respiratory drugs commonly used for asthma and other breathing disorders. 

However, AmerisourceBergen told Becker's Hospital Review that it hasn't sent out any lists or other communications about disruptions to or shortages of respiratory medications caused by the coronavirus.

The Post also reported that drug supplier Anda, which is owned by Teva Pharmaceuticals, warned pharmacists about low levels of respiratory drugs and inhalers, along with antibiotics, alcohol prep pads, face masks and hand sanitizers. Anda told Becker's that it "never put out a statement warning about shortages," and that Teva is seeing no shortages on its manufactured products caused by the coronavirus. 

Tom D'Angelo, owner of a pharmacy in Franklin Square, N.Y., told the Post the drug companies don't tell pharmacists the reasons drugs go on back order, but he suspects it has to do with supply chain issues caused by the coronavirus since most items would treat symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. 

Becker's has reached out to Mr. D'Angelo for additional comment and will update this story accordingly. 

Read the full article here

Editor's note: This article was updated March 9, 2020 at 10:20 a.m.

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