Flu drug shortage hits Alabama pharmacies

Some pharmacies in Alabama are facing a shortage of flu medications as cases rise in the state, WAFF 48 News reported Nov. 23.

Pharmacies in West and North Alabama said the flu drug Xofluza is in especially low supply. 

"In the Tuscaloosa area, we do see a shortage of Xofluza ... a lot of pharmacies have ran out," Ramesh Peramsetty, MD, a physician at the Tuscaloosa-based urgent care center Crimson Care, told ABC affiliate WBMA.

Dr. Peramsetty said many patients request Xofluza, as it is a single dose, compared to five-day doses for other antiviral flu drugs. 

Philip Presley, a pharmacist and co-owner of Athens (Ala.) Pharmacy, said he is also seeing a shortage of the adult dose of Xofluza, which is 80 milligrams. The pharmacy does have 40 milligram doses available for children, but the doses are all the same price, which means doubling up a pediatric dose for adults would cost twice as much, Mr. Presley said.

As of Nov. 13, Alabama's rate of flu-like illness was 2.26 percent, a slight increase from the week prior but still below the baseline of 3.36 percent, state data shows.

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