Local health experts concerned about flu medication shortage

Published: Dec. 14, 2022 at 10:27 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - As Tennessee hospitals see a surge in RSV, COVID and flu cases, Baptist Medical Group says it’s leaving their pharmacies’ shelves limited on cold and flu medication.

“Most times every year, you kind of run out of Tamiflu at the end of flu season... but never this early,” said Erin Meeks, pharmacy manager for Baptist Medical Groups.

Meeks says they’ve been able to keep up with the increase in demand by ordering similar products like Oseltamivir.

But, she worries that supplies won’t last long, as the medication is now on backorder, along with other hard-to-find supplements.

The availability of over-the-counter pain-relieving and fever-reducing medications is also hit or miss.

“It’s on such severe allocation, nobody can find it anymore,” said Meeks.

In the meantime, Baptist Medical Group doctors recommend taking symptomatic medications.

“There’s Mucinex to help thin secretion, there’s cough syrups that you can take, nasal sprays that you can take... they’re all over the counter,” said Dr. Laura Pomykala with Baptist Medical Group.

According to Walgreens, its retail pharmacies are prepared for high demand; the company wrote:

“While inventory is moving rapidly, our team members are prepared to update shelves with supply throughout the day.”

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