West Lafayette pharmacy turns Tamiflu into liquid during drug shortage

As the number of flu cases continues to rise, so does the number of prescriptions for Tamiflu. Now, pharmacies nationwide are seeing a shortage. One West Lafayette pharmacy is turning generic Tamiflu pills into liquid during the shortage.

Posted: Feb. 1, 2018 11:15 PM
Updated: Feb. 1, 2018 11:43 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - As the number of flu cases continues to rise, so does the number of prescriptions for Tamiflu. Now, pharmacies nationwide are seeing a shortage. One West Lafayette pharmacy is turning generic Tamiflu pills into liquid during the shortage.

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"Demand for Tamiflu is definitely through the roof," said CustomPlus Pharmacy Pharmacist Ben Rachwal.

More and more people are catching the flu bug, meaning dozens of people are trying to get their hands on Tamiflu.

"We don't usually see demand this high," said Rachwal.

Tamiflu is commonly used to help lessen flu symptoms. It also helps prevent the flu.

It's been tough keeping it on the shelves because of a nationwide shortage.

"The worst hit area is the suspension for the pediatric population," said Rachwal. "That's what we're seeing the biggest shortage of."

Rachwal said CustomPlus Pharmacy hasn't been able to order the liquid form of Tamiflu for kids in about two weeks.

"Our supplier is limiting us to only three boxes per day," said Rachwal.

CustomPlus has found a solution. They've been taking the Tamiflu generic pills and turning them into liquid so can kids can take that. It's called compounding.

"We've had several come in today just for that," said Rachwal.

The West Lafayette CVS also put in a few orders into CustomPlus for the liquid Tamiflu.

So why has Tamiflu been such a need this season compared to past years?

"I think part of it is because the vaccine wasn't a perfect match to the circulating A-strain virus that seems to be causing so much infection," said Rachwal.

Fortunately, CustomPlus still has full stock of the pill.

"We're checking our supplier stock every day and ordering as much as we can," said Rachwal.

Doctors say the best way to try and prevent the flu is to wash your hands and not get too close to anyone who has the bug.

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