FDA warns public of national Tamiflu shortage - WKRN News 2

FDA warns public of national Tamiflu shortage

Posted: Updated: Jan 16, 2014 05:07 PM
HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. -

The FDA warns there is a shortage in supply of Tamiflu across the country.

Tamiflu is a prescription drug that lessens the symptoms of influenza once someone is diagnosed.

According to the FDA, there is a shortage of Tamiflu suspension liquid for children.

As the flu season continues supplies of the capsule version will likely drop as well.

Pharmacist Ralph Williams of Hendersonville Health Mart told News 2 that suppliers are limiting the number of prescriptions being shipped and delivered.

"If I wanted to order 20, they wouldn't do it. They'd probably only send one," said Williams, adding there appears to be enough in Middle Tennessee, for now.

"The company that makes it has ramped up all they can. However, there's always a backlog," he said.

Particularly worrying is the shrinking supply of liquid Tamiflu that is prescribed to children, the FDA warns.

Williams told News 2 it isn't unusual for some Tamiflu shortage during flu season, however; this hasn't been a normal flu season.

"We've had at least five to seven times the number of Tamiflu [prescriptions] than what we usually have this time of year," Williams said.

Supplies of the capsule form prescribed to adults have not been an issue in Middle Tennessee, Williams said. And for parents of children diagnosed with the flu, there is an alternative.

"Genentech will give you a formula to convert the capsules into a liquid. It's very easy to do," Williams said.

The conversion must be prescribed by a doctor and converted by a pharmacist.

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