Is there a shortage on flu tests and medicine?

Tamiflu and flu test swab shortage
Updated: Feb. 9, 2018 at 8:03 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - While some pharmacies are running low or even running out of Tamiflu, officials with the Alabama Department of Public Health say there is by no means a shortage.

"However we do understand that there may be some gaps in shipment, thus some reduction in local availability to all pharmacies," Dr. Karen Landers said.

The physician listened in on a briefing from C.D.C.on  Friday morning. She describes the problem as less of a supply issue and more of a movement one.

"But again product is available. But it's a matter of getting the product into some of the areas where they may have heavier prescriptions for influenza anti-virals," Dr. Landers said.

WBRC has had calls from viewers who have had to go to multiple pharmacies to get the drug. Some said their doctor had run out of flu tests.

"We do know that some physicians have run out of influenza testing kits in their offices," Dr. Landers said. "But let me remind everyone, as a physician myself, that in this season not everyone who presents with influenza-like illness requires an influenza test to be diagnosed."

Many times the symptoms alone allow physicians to go ahead and make a positive diagnosis, and treat it as such.

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