If you’re a parent whose kid comes down with the flu this winter, you’re on your own when it comes to finding the right meds. Why? Well, that’d be due to a national antibiotic shortage, which has left parents running all over town to different physicians trying to find stuff like Tamiflu and amoxicillin for their strep-ridden toddlers.
Yep, on top of empty formula shelves, a butter shortage, and persistent inflation, beleaguered parents are having to hunt down drugs for their feverish children because post-pandemic sickness is so rampant, and the supply chain that funnels foreign-made medicine (often manufactured in India and China) to U.S. shores is all kinds of gunked up.
Here’s how KCCI out of Des Moines, Iowa put it:
"I've dealt with it personally and professionally. I have a son with asthma, and he had influenza A. So you want to get him Tamiflu and we couldn't get it," said Brown.
Brown explains the antibiotic shortage is all about supply and demand. Too much RSV, flu and COVID-19 is creating a massive demand for drugs – especially for kids. But companies rely on ingredients that often come from overseas.
"The supply chain is just a mess. That's a huge problem that won't be fixed with one solution and it won't be fixed quickly," Brown added.
“Right now, we are having severe shortages of medications. There’s no Tamiflu for children. There’s barely any Tamiflu for adults. And this is brand-name and generic,” said Renae Kraft, an Oklahoma City pharmacist, told CNN. "As far as antibiotics go, there’s not a whole lot.”
The FDA announced an amoxicillin shortage back in November, and it looks like the problem's only getting worse - a bad sign for people who may have forgotten that antibiotics can be as lifesaving as they are (usually) common. One reporter wrote over at Quartz:
It took me most of Monday to get the right drugs to start my daughter’s 10-day course of Phenoxymethyl-penicillin, one of the most common antibiotics prescribed for scarlet fever. This involved phoning and queuing at pharmacies, and tramping through the snow to the doctor three times for prescriptions updated in line with what was available.
Oh, and it’s not just us. The UK has issued an alert over a ‘serious shortage’ of penicillin thanks to a rise in Strep A. France, Germany, and Australia are also facing shortages.
If only someone had predicted all our immune systems would be in the proverbial crapper if we all stayed locked in our homes smothering ourselves in Purell.
Follow us on Twitter!