Pharmacies seeing shortages of hundreds of medicines, including critically important antibiotics

Wednesday, November 30, 2022
Pharmacies across the country experiencing medication shortages
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Pharmacies across the country are seeing shortages of hundreds of medicines, including many antibiotics, as the height of cold and flu season nears. Naveen Dhaliwal has the story.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Pharmacies across the country are seeing shortages of hundreds of medicines, including critically important antibiotics, as the height of cold and flu season nears.

According to the FDA, 123 of 184 listed drugs are currently in some kind of shortage.

Charles Tabouchirani, the owner of Cherry's Pharmacy on East 66th on Manhattan's Upper East Side says his store has been sharply affected.

"Our shelves have never been empty," Tabouchirani said. "It's affecting the way we dispense medication, it's affecting the way doctors, providers are trying to manage and prescribing the medication."

Tamiflu, Adderall, and even the standard antibiotic amoxicillin in liquid form are getting hard to find.

"Right now the way we are addressing, namely the amoxicillin shortage, is to take capsules and transforming them into a liquid," Tabouchirani said.

Officials say the reason for the shortages is that drugs are manufactured based on orders from the year earlier, meaning pharmaceutical companies don't keep a supply of them.

Additionaly, this year there has also been an increase in heavy respiratory illnesses.

"We are also in one of the richest countries in the world and we can't seem to figure this out, it's just not okay," parent Jan Johnson said.

Parents like Johnson, whose daughter was just diagnosed with strep throat, are not happy with it.

"We have one bottle at home, and that's it (of?) Tylenol," Johnson said.

Joan Barson is going through a similar situation, but her son has an ear infection.

"They couldn't fill our script our Augmentin so I found a place way downtown and we are heading out there now to get it," Barson said.

Tabouchirani says pharmacies have been given no indication as when the shortages might end.

"There's no ETA as to when this will ease up and that's the frightening thing because it's also affecting other medications," Tabouchirani said.

Officials say if you can't find a particular medication at the local pharmacies, talk to your doctor because an alternative could be prescribed.

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