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America is running low on very popular medication and pharmacies are reporting shortages just as winter approaches



The supply chain issues that occurred as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic are slowly getting back to normal, but the product shortages are not. Industry experts have long claimed that humanity has never experienced something similar in modern history and it might take years before everything gets back to what it used to be before the pandemic.

Almost every single industry was affected by the shortages. This issue led to a huge spike in prices, while some industries even had to adapt and implement a wide range of different measures to remain in business. Currently, the situation is much better compared to a year ago, but Americans will feel the consequences of the pandemic in the years to come.

In the last two years, everyone has learned how to find alternatives for the products they use on a daily basis, but some products, like medications, are not easily replaceable. As we are approaching the winter season, several independent pharmacy owners in Kansas, Georgia, and New York confirmed that they are seeing amoxicillin shortage, and this might be a huge problem as the medication is widely used, especially during the winter.

Amoxicillin is a very popular antibiotic as it’s used for treating several different kinds of diseases and bacteria, including ear infections, pneumonia, and bronchitis. The number of people suffering from diseases that are usually treated with amoxicillin is increasing during the winter, and the demand for the medication is also higher. According to the pharmacy owners, the problem first occurred several weeks ago, and wholesalers, in some areas, are already limiting how much of the medication pharmacies can purchase at one time, likely to avoid running out of them.

According to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, which maintains a database of drug shortages, the top three amoxicillin manufacturers are reporting shortages. Two of the top three companies that produce this drug are located in Europe: Hikma Pharmaceuticals, headquartered in the United Kingdom, and Sandoz, based in Switzerland. The third is Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., headquartered in Israel.

What comes as even bigger concern for Americans is the fact that it is not clear what is causing the shortage, what should be done, and most importantly, how long it could last. So far, top manufacturers haven’t provided more details about the issue. Two of them declined to comment on the matter, while Hikma Pharmaceuticals’ official in a statement said that “the company will continue to provide the supplies agreed per the contracts they have in place and is looking at ways to increase production.”

Since amoxicillin is an antibiotic, the drug is not used in treating viruses like Covid-19, the flu or RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), but it’s widely used in treating dozens of other bacterial diseases, especially in the winter months. The drug can be found in different forms like chewable tablets, capsules, and powder for an oral liquid or “suspension” that is typically prescribed to children. All of these products are now affected by the shortage.

Pharmacy owners who have already felt the shortage on their own are concerned that the shortage comes at a very sensitive period when infections surge and the demand for the drug increases. According to them, amoxicillin is the most popular and most utilized antibiotic in recent years.