SOUTH CAROLINA, USA — The pharmaceutical industry and other medical supply stores are feeling the negative impact from the global supply chain shortage. Companies are seeing empty shelves, and it takes weeks to put medicine and other medical supplies back on them.
Some pharmacists are also reporting a shortage in prescription drugs and having to delay some prescriptions or ask doctors for substitutions.
"Really, it’s a variety. I know this morning, there’s a few blood pressure medications that we can’t get in stock right now," said Pharmacist Traisha Campfeld with Elgin Pharmacy. "Every day, it seems kinda something new, something will come in stock and something else isn’t available."
Campfeld said recently, they have seen the shortage impact a wide variety of both prescribed and over the counter drugs.
"That’s a big concern, for people not able to get certain medication and stuff like that," said Kershaw County resident Janet Lee. "And that’s a big impact for a lot of people, which is sad. We're the United States. We're not supposed to be short on anything, which affects people."
Some name brand medications may be limited, but pharmacies are providing other replacements for those in need.
Other medical supplies that aren't on shelves are braces, crutches, and wheelchairs. According to the manager of CORA Physical Therapy, Hima Dalal, it's harder to rehabilitate individuals.
"The patients are suffering because of the shortage," Dalal said. "This weekend, one of my patients called because she had a sprain. She must’ve gone to almost four stores and we could not find her a brace for her ankle. So, yes, it’s affecting the medical supply a lot."
Dalal said the shortage is slowing down the recovery process for people in physical therapy.
"If someone is coming out of a stroke and we are rehabbing them and they need a walker," Dalal said. "After the transition from the walker, they need a cane, they need appropriate supplies for their progress to recovery faster."
For people who are unable to get the medical supplies they need, CORA still encourages individuals to come in for physical therapy and find a way they can continue the healing and recovery process.
"We always help patients to find adaptive ways, find the adaptive solutions, maybe teach them how to do the functional transfers, or how to walk adaptive ways," Dalal said.