Supply chain disturbances causing prescription drug shortages in North Alabama

It could be a little harder to get prescriptions as supply chain issues continue to affect multiple aspects of day-to-day life.

Posted: Nov 3, 2021 6:23 PM
Updated: Nov 4, 2021 12:54 PM

The global supply chain bottleneck could impact your next trip to a pharmacy, as it's left some drugs in short supply.

Getting your prescriptions filled for ADHD, diabetes and asthma medications are already reported to take longer than normal in North Alabama. The supply chain issue causing the delays can be downright terrifying for some people.

Supply chain issue causing shortage of prescription drugs

“The steroids keep me alive, and without them, I wouldn’t be here," said Cheryl Jones.

Jones has Addison's Disease, a rare adrenal gland disease. Getting her medication is a matter of life or death.

She is prescribed the steroid hydrocortisone. That medication is one of more than 110 drugs the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has listed for a current shortage.

“It’s really scary to call up the pharmacy and try to get your prescription filled, and they say, ‘Well, it’s on back order. We don’t know when it’s going to be in,’" Jones said.

Trent McLemore, a pharmacist at Star Market Discount Pharmacy in Huntsville, said they're currently experiencing a shortage of three types of medications: 

  • Ciprofloxacin, an antibiotic;
  • Actemra, used for rheumatoid arthritis; and
  • Dulera inhalers for asthma.

McLemore advised patients to call multiple pharmacies if their usual one doesn't have the mediciation they need in stock.

"There’s no reason to go without medicine, especially if it’s something you desperately need," he said. "If they’re not able to get it, somebody can somewhere, more than likely, or we can work with a doctor and change it to something that does work or (can) at least be a suitable replacement in the meantime.”

McLemore said they usually are able to get medications restocked within a couple of days.

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