Amoxicillin is commonly prescribed to treat a variety of pediatric infections, including ear infections, strep throat, and pneumonia, and pharmacies across the United States are experiencing a nationwide shortage of the drug.
As children return to school and infections proliferate, drugstores are experiencing a supply shortage. A spokesperson for CVS Health stated that its stores are experiencing a nationwide shortage of certain drug formulations.
A CVS spokesperson told CBS MoneyWatch, “There is an industry-wide shortage of certain doses of amoxicillin, and we’re working with manufacturers to replenish supply as quickly as possible.”
The spokesperson noted that when the drug is out of stock at a particular location, CVS pharmacy teams assist patients in locating amoxicillin at adjacent locations and work with prescribers to identify alternative medications for patients.
Regarding the prescription shortage, Walgreens did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
As many students across the United States return to school, the risk of infection rises. This week, two school districts in Kentucky were closed due to an outbreak of illness in their communities.
Due to pervasive illness, all Magoffin County schools will be closed on Thursday and Friday, August 24 and 25, the school district announced on Wednesday.
According to NBC News, Lee County schools canceled classes this week after numerous students and staff contracted COVID-19, strep throat, influenza, and other illnesses.
FDA Addresses Amoxicillin Shortage as Congressional Report Highlights Factors
The Food and Drug Administration acknowledged the scarcity for the first time last autumn, when it added amoxicillin products to its list of drugs in limited supply. According to the FDA, the shortage was caused by an increase in drug demand.
A congressional report on the dangers of drug shortages in the United States also identified manufacturing hiccups and other supply-chain disruptions, robust consumer demand, and overprescribing by physicians as factors contributing to the shortages.
According to the FDA’s list, liquid forms of the drug that are appropriate for infants too young to swallow pills are in limited supply. They are produced by Teva Pharmaceuticals and other pharmaceutical firms.
For prevalent pediatric conditions, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has compiled a compendium of alternative antibiotics. If available, the finest alternatives to amoxicillin are its capsule, tablet, and chewable forms.
“Tablets can be broken or pulverized in order to combine them with any liquid or semisolid, such as applesauce. This can be administered orally or intravenously, according to the AAP.
According to Vizient, which negotiates prescription contracts for more than 60 percent of the nation’s health systems, shortages of liquid forms of amoxicillin are also affecting health systems such as hospitals.
Mittal Sutaria, senior vice president of pharmacy contract and program services at Vizient, told CBS MoneyWatch: “As the fall and winter seasons approach, we are already beginning to see an increase in demand for amoxicillin.” “It remains to be seen whether the situation will worsen as demand rises, or if there will be sufficient supply. Sometimes anticipatory purchases result in supply difficulties.”
Other medications, ranging from children’s Tylenol to cancer drugs, have been in limited supply in the United States recently.
Source: CBS News