New concerns about drug shortages as hospitals fill up amid tripledemic

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Friday, December 9, 2022
New concerns about drug shortages as hospitals fill up amid tripledemic
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There's growing alarm from parents about some drug shortages across parts of the country, with the tripledemic - cases of the flu, RSV and COVID-19 - driving high demand for medication.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- There's growing alarm about some drug shortages across parts of the country, with the tripledemic - cases of flu, RSV and COVID-19 - driving high demand for medications.

Coast to coast, parents are spotting shortages of certain medications and over-the-counter pain relievers.

"I feel like it should be one of the things that they should always have is, you know, antibiotics, amoxicillin, anything," said mom, Kendra Hall.

Halls 15-month-old was diagnosed with RSV and a double ear infection on Monday, but the Massachusetts mom couldn't find a pharmacy to fill the antibiotic prescription for the ear infection.

"It took us a whole day to actually find what we needed and we had to go at least like 30 minutes away. We looked at five different stores, so it was pretty crazy," she said.

"The 20 years that I've been practicing I've never seen drug shortages quite like this," said Dr Steve Adkins, Pharmacist and owner of Health Park Pharmacy in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The tripledemic is driving a high demand for over-the-counter cold and pain medications for kids, causing spotty supply depending on the region. Issues with other medications, such as certain antibiotics like Amoxicillin, are a result of supply chain issues - a hold over from the pandemic.

"Those same factors of why your favorite foods might not be on the shelf are really also driving the same things of why you can't find these over the counter pain relievers on the shelf," said Erin Fox, Senior Pharmacy Director at University of Utah Health.

If you can't find a medication for your child, call around to other pharmacies, look for generic versions or ask your pharmacist on how to use an adult version of a medication for a child.

On the COVID-19 vaccine front, the FDA is now authorizing the new COVID shot for children as young as 6 months. It could be available as early as next week. That makes them the last eligible for those new boosters.