Tamiflu in high demand across the Mid-South - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Tamiflu in high demand across the Mid-South

By Jamel Major - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

CORDOVA, TN (WMC-TV) - A shortage of Tamiflu is causing headaches for adults and children in many parts of the Mid-South.  With the regular flu and H1N1 still a major concern for many, the shortage isn't making things any easier.

"My guess is that they didn't know how big the order or demand would be for the flu season, so they didn't have enough stock of it," said Josh Regal of Regal PharmaLab in Cordova.

Tamiflu used to help relieve or prevent flu-like symptoms.  Several drugstores in the Mid-South are either completely out of the drug or only have it in stock in the form of a pill. 

"The capsules are still available," Regal said. "There's no shortage of those from what the companies are telling us.  The wholesalers are having issues getting the oral suspension."

Doctors often prescribe the liquid form of Tamiflu to children who are too small to take pills.  Regal said his laboratory has received numerous requests from pediatricians and physicians who want the drug in liquid form.
"It's more of opening up a capsule and basically mixing that in with the liquid preparation and thorough mixing," he said.
Regal added that pharmacies are now being instructed on how to turn the pills into a liquid.

"Sometimes it does take a little bit of extra equipment and time, and a lot of pharmacies may just pass that along to some of the experts in the community who are compounding pharmacists," he said.
While a shortage of the Tamiflu remains a challenge for many, Regal said his company is just trying to keep up with what has been a booming demand for the drug.

Pharmacists expect the shortage of Tamiflu to last through November or December.

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