Prescription drug shortages are not getting better

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Published: Aug. 3, 2023 at 5:37 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - After months of hearing about prescription drug shortages, it seems to be getting worse.

The July 19th North Carolina Tornado that ripped through a Pfizer plant was just the latest disruption to the nation’s drug supply.

Luckily, it did not impact the prescription drugs that most people need.

But the shortages have not improved this year, pharmacists say.

Back in March, Christine Wood was unable to find Adderall. Every pharmacy near her has been out of the generic version.

“It has become harder and harder to find these medications,” Wood told us. “You check on it and is not there, and the reason is they don’t have the generic.”

Wood has been forced to buy the much more expensive name brand, which insurance will not cover.

“You can pay for it out of pocket. I believe my last order was going to be $479,” Wood said.

Many families cannot afford prices like that.

But Adderall is just one medication in short supply, according to the American Society of Health System Pharmacists.

The group says others include:

Several Major Chemo Drugs, including Carnoplatin, used to treat several common cancers.

Amoxicillin, an antibiotic.

Epomephrimne, used in Epi-Pens.

Prednisone for Asthma.

Ozempic, for diabetes and weight loss.

The Pharmacists group blames a combination of record demand, plus shortages of key ingredients from foreign countries.

What can you do?

You can switch pharmacies, but that can be a hassle and you may have to switch back.

Easiest is to check back with your doctor because most conditions have several possible treatments they can prescribe.

That way you don’t waste your money.

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