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Is there a Tamiflu widespread shortage as flu cases increase?

Some people report struggles to find the antiviral medicine

ATLANTA — Cases of the flu are rising in Georgia and some people are finding it difficult to fill the prescriptions to help them feel better.

Tamiflu is an anti-viral medication used to treat the flu and, in some cases, prevent someone who’s been exposed from getting sick. After reports from some people who had to search out a pharmacy to fill their prescription, we are verifying if there is a Tamiflu shortage.

RELATED: Intense flu season hitting Georgia with 'very high' activity level, doctors say

Our sources are CVS Pharmacy, Dr. Johnathan Marquess with the Georgia Pharmacy Association, and Dr. Katz at Five Points Pharmacy.

Dr. Katz said he’s seen demand for Tamiflu increasing - so he prepared early.

“I anticipated this would be a killer year for flu,” said Dr. Katz. “I stocked up early on in the summertime so I could get what I needed.”

CVS acknowledges that demand for Tamiflu is high and that the pharmacy chain has seen “sporadic shipping from select manufacturers.”

In a statement, CVS told us there is not a widespread shortage. Spokesperson Amy Thibault said CVS is “continuing to supply stores with Tamiflu and other flu-related medications using our existing inventory network, but there will be increased instances when individual pharmacies could be temporarily out-of-stock.”

Dr. Marquess agrees that we might have to shop around.

“There are certain pockets out there that might not have any,” said Dr. Marquess. “They might either have some on their shelves, five or six bottles or boxes, or they could possibly get it from their wholesaler the next day.”

Dr. Katz said his issue has been with the children’s version of Tamiflu

“For those children that might get the flu, I can’t get anymore,” said Dr. Katz. “I have some but I can’t get anymore.”

So, we can verify, demand is outpacing supply of Tamiflu in Georgia and you might encounter a pharmacy that is low or even temporally out of the medicine you need to avoid serious illness.


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