Pharmacies face Tamiflu shortage as flu season continues

Published: Feb. 2, 2018 at 5:47 PM EST
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As the flu season continues, doctors are prescribing Tamiflu to help treat symptoms of the virus. However, local pharmacies are struggling to keep up with the high demand for the drug, and they are running out of it fast.

Mark Robertson, pharmacist at Fishersville Family Pharmacy, said the combination of the severity of the flu and the flu vaccine not being as effective this year has lead to a higher number of outbreaks of the virus and a shortage of the drug Tamiflu.

"Everybody's out of it right now and we're all trying to call around 'do you have any?'" Roberston said. "You know, to try and help each other's patients, but right now it's in pretty short order."

Earlier today, Fishersville Family Pharmacy ran out of their generic Tamiflu and now only have a few boxes of the name brand left.

Robertson said they are receiving 15 to 20 calls a day about the drug.

Although the name brand is more expensive than the generic version, Roberston said that Tamiflu is worth the money, especially for those with weaker immune systems. Robertson said this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages people to take Tamiflu during any stage of flu.

"Because of the severity of this flu season," Robertson said, "yes, they are recommending to get it as early as possible, but at any point that they can."

Robertson said they hope to receive more orders of both versions of the drug later this month, but they could receive their orders as late as March.