ROBERTSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Many pharmacies and distributors are feeling the strain when it comes to filling shelves with Tamiflu – a prescription medicine often used to treat the flu.
However, the owner of one Robertson County pharmacy said she has a plan to handle a potential medication shortage.
Dr. Misty Williamson has Tamiflu stocked on the shelves of Greenbrier Pharmacy for now. However, she said flu numbers haven’t been this high in about nine years.
“We are dispensing right now as much Tamiflu as we probably have in the last five years combined just in the last three to four weeks,” Williamson said.
Because of the uptick in cases, Williamson said the pharmacy has received all it can from its primary suppliers.
“Our flu numbers have been so high that even our schools shut down for a few days here locally,” Dr. Williamson said, adding that flu cases are impacting entire families.
“We’re seeing 30 to 40 a day in our busiest clinics, so we’re having a hard time finding people to fill the prescriptions sometimes,” said Dr. Jeff Jenkins, a physician at Crossroads Medical Group.
Jenkins works in seven offices across Middle Tennessee. One of those offices is next door to Greenbrier Pharmacy, which he said isn’t having any issues when it comes to filling prescriptions.
Even if the pharmacy does start to run low on Tamiflu, Williamson said she has a backup plan.
“We are actually one of the only compounding pharmacies in the county, so we’re actually able to take the raw Tamiflu capsules and actually put them in a liquid form if we do run into short supply,” she explained.
However, Tamiflu isn’t the only medicine that’s been a concern for Greenbrier Pharmacy customers, according to Williamson.
“I had a patient that actually drove to Franklin, Kentucky the other night at 2 a.m. just to get a hold of some amoxicillin,” the pharmacist said.
Williamson said Adderall is another drug that has become more challenging for patients to get their hands on. She said they get dozens of calls a day asking if they have it in stock.
Nevertheless, with flu season expected to last a few more months, Williamson shared a reminder that it’s not too late to get your flu shot, which can protect you against four strains of the virus.