Some pharmacies running low on Tamiflu

The nationwide flu epidemic is impacting some Tennessee Valley pharmacies.

Posted: Jan 18, 2018 6:04 PM
Updated: Jan 30, 2018 10:36 AM

The flu epidemic is reaching new heights across the country, with the state of Alabama under a state of emergency.

In fact, many pharmacies are struggling to keep cold and flu medicine stocked on their shelves.

WAAY 31 visited several pharmacies and drug stores in Huntsville today where people were buying whatever they need to fight off the flu.

Phillip Rigsby owns two pharmacies in Huntsville.

"Anytime there's an outbreak like this, you know any time people get a runny nose, a scratchy throat they're always looking for something easy they can take," Rigsby said.

He said both of his pharmacies are filled with people trying to avoid or get rid of the flu.

"We are seeing a lot of people coming in looking for, you know, give me something to help with my runny nose, give me something to help with my scratchy throat, I've got this cough for two weeks what can I do?"

He said all of this is in an effort to stay away from the doctor's office.

Nancy Price's husband came down with the flu recently, and she said going to the doctor would have done more harm than good.

"He's contagious. Don't go to the doctor if you're sick with the flu and you know you've got it. A lot of people there don't have it, and you don't need to spread it," Price said.

Skipping the doctor's office to steer clear of sick people may sound like a good idea, but Rigsby said that just stopping by your local pharmacy may not be your best bet either.

"Drug companies have to try to keep up with the demand for the medication, and because we are having a stronger than normal flu season, the demand is higher than maybe what they expected. A lot of the wholesalers are actually running short on Tamiflu," Rigsby said.

Rigsby also told WAAY 31 that if your go-to pharmacy does not have the medication you've been prescribed you should keep calling because it's bound to be at a pharmacy somewhere.

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