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'Caught us off-guard': Shortage of medications hits the Carolinas

Pharmacies in the Charlotte area report issues with restocking Tamiflu, amoxicillin, and Adderall.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Nationwide shortages of crucial medications like amoxicillin, Tamiflu, and Adderall are being felt in the Carolinas. 

Flu and cold seasons are here and many families are struggling to find the remedies they need.  

The lack of amoxicillin scared parents like Michael Burnett.  “You would never think that wouldn’t be available," Burnett told WCNC Charlotte. "So, it just caught us off-guard and made the situation feel like it was never going to end.”  

Burnett explained that his 17-month-old twins were sick. They were prescribed amoxicillin, but Burnett couldn't find it at any nearby stores. 

He said he finally found it at a small pharmacy in Fort Mill. 

“If we hadn’t heard from someone to try this random mom-and-pop store, we would’ve pretty much been left helpless,” Burnett added.  

Three different pharmacies told WCNC Charlotte reporter Julia Kauffman that their suppliers have had issues restocking other medications like Tamiflu and Adderall as well.

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“We've never had this many medications at one time be so difficult to source," shared Dr. Amy Small with Carolina Pharmacy. "Our major wholesaler is limiting supplies and it's been-- it's been a real struggle.” 

Small said high demand and lack of ingredients are two reasons for the medication shortages. 

The Adderall shortage is affecting Charlotte residents like Johnathan Worley.

"You end up potentially having to go three to five days without your prescription if none of the local CVS’s or pharmacies, in general, have it,” he explained.

Worley said he called five different pharmacies before finding one that could fill his prescription recently. “It's really just an annoyance,” he added. 

Small said Carolina Pharmacy is working with smaller wholesalers to find the drugs. However, that means paying a higher price than they usually do with "major wholesalers."

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Small said the pharmacy is taking on the cost and not raising prices for customers.

The doctor added that they’re stocked up now and even making their own medicine using a compounding lab, helping supply other small pharmacies that are all out. 

Contact Julia Kauffman at jkauffman@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

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