BELLEVUE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Children’s antibiotics are flying off the shelves. Local pharmacies have had to turn patients away empty-handed.
According to pharmacists, a number of issues can cause shortages—but this one is likely happening simply because a lot of kids are sick earlier in the season and at the same time.
Joshua Brown Pharmacy is the “new guy in town” in Bellevue, and the owner wants to put his best foot forward. “We’re just trying to do what we can to serve the patients,” said Joshua Brown.
For a month, Brown’s supply of children’s antibiotics—like amoxicillin—has ebbed and flowed. At one point, for an entire week, they were completely out. “When a new patient comes in, I want to make a good impression on them, and then I have to say, ‘oh, sorry, I don’t have this product.'”
When amoxicillin runs low, doctors have substituted a similar antibiotic called cefdinir—but soon that substitute could also run low.
“It’s a chain effect there where demand for one goes out, you have demand for the next one. The next one goes out, and you kinda have to just move down the line,” said Brown.
But at Joshua Brown Pharmacy, they have another route to help patients, and it’s in their compounding lab.
“If a product is no longer available, we can compound it using the active ingredients,” said Brown. “The patients do appreciate the fact that we try our best to try and help them, get their prescription to them, and help solve that problem for them.”
On Monday, Brown received a new shipment of amoxicillin. He says the new shipment makes him a little hopeful that maybe the shortage will end soon. “Hopefully, that’s the case, because if not, it’s going to be a long cold and flu season for a lot of pharmacies and patients.”
News 2 reached out to amoxicillin-maker U.S. Antibiotics based in Bristol. They said there are two reasons for the shortage—a lack of active pharmaceutical ingredients coming in from overseas and an early and severe outbreak of RSV among kids.