INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Pharmacists in Indiana are battling the growing shortage of fever-reducing medicines and antibiotics. The shortage is happening amid a Winter surge of COVID-19, flu, RSV, and bacterial infections such as strep throat.
“Obviously there is an increase in usage right now with flu season, RSV, exedra, so yes, there is a higher demand,” clinical Pharmacist, Kurt Moyer, said at Dr. Aziz Pharmacy in Indianapolis.
Moyer points to the basic economics of supply and demand as many pharmacies face shelves of missing medicines.
Children’s liquids, Tylenol, and Motrin are especially difficult to find. Major retailers like CVS and Walgreens are now limiting how much people can buy.
News 8 checked on Amazon and found kids’ fever reducers were often either sold out or priced extremely high. A 3-pack of children’s Tylenol was being sold for almost $50 dollars.
According to the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, sales of kids’ medications to treat pain and fever are up 65% from this time last year.
Dr. Aziz Pharmacy says their pharmacists are compounding these medicines for patients when needed. However, that requires a doctor’s prescription.
Pharmacists are also having a hard time filling Amoxicillin requests. The FDA has listed Amoxicillin as currently in short supply. Moyer said their pharmacists are often only able to give people seven days worth of a ten day prescription, and that liquid antibiotics are on backorder.
Pharmacists said the companies are making the medicines as fast as they can.
“According to the manufacturers, it is not a manufacturing issue. They are still manufacturing as much as they have in the past, and they are releasing just as much as they have in the past. It is just a situation where we now have to wait for the supply to catch up with the demand,” Moyer said. “Unfortunately when information comes out that there are shortages then everybody rushes off and stocks up, so it’s the new toilet paper. So unfortunately these kids’ fever medications are being stocked up. A lot of places have had to put in limits to try to prevent people from doing that.”
Moyer is urging people to only buy what they need. The Consumer Healthcare Products Association, which represents manufacturers of over-the-counter medicines, says its members “don’t have a timeline” for when supply may catch up with demand.