SSM Health's response to current drug shortages

With multiple retail pharmacies short on medicine cabinet staples amid a rise in flu and respiratory syncytial virus cases, St. Louis-based SSM Health's pharmacy leader told the Wisconsin State Journal some drug shortage tips. 

Here are three things to know, according to Ariel Thurmer, PharmD, SSM Health's clinical manager of pharmacy services: 

1. The antibiotic amoxicillin and the anesthetic lidocaine are among the most pressing shortages in the area. 

2. Alternatives to lidocaine are available, but they can take longer to work, meaning the length of some biopsies and procedures is stretching, Dr. Thurmer told the Journal

3. SSM Health has been advising physicians to ration limited supply of oseltamivir — a common flu drug that's also in shortage — for high-risk flu patients and not use it as a preventive medicine. 

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