Antiviral, antibiotic shortages complicate already difficult virus season

Shortages of medications used to treat common childhood illnesses are placing added stress on parents, pharmacists and clinicians navigating an already challenging respiratory virus season, CNN reported Nov. 22.

As of Nov. 9, 13 Tamiflu generics were in short supply among six drugmakers, according to the drug shortage website run by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. The antibiotics amoxicillin and Augmentin are also in short supply, along with inhalers for the drug albuterol, which helps open airways in the lungs. 

Michael Ganio, ASHO's senior director of pharmacy practice and quality, said manufacturing issues are not to blame for the shortages. 

"It's just increased demand ahead of schedule and higher than usual," he told CNN.

Many generic drugmakers are increasing production in response to heightened demand. Teva said it expects some concentrations of amoxicillin to be back in stock between early December and late February. Roche told Becker's it has "sufficient supply" of Tamiflu and encouraged pharmacies to stock up enough product throughout flu season. 


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