Houston faces shortage of over-the-counter drugs

There are a variety of out-of-stock supplies in stores across the country, and now that cold and flu season is upon us, that adds to the headaches of shipping and manufacturing with over-the-counter medications.

In a Southeast Houston CVS, cold and flu medications are scarce.

In a Missouri City Walgreens, there were holes where certain sinus medications are typically stored.

In a target in Stafford, they limit the amount that Pepcid customers can buy.

Plus, no surprises anywhere, due to the high demand, no COVID rapid test was found anywhere.

What explains this shortage of over-the-counter drugs?

Walgreens said there is “a greater demand for cough, cold and flu products nationwide, and as a result, Walgreens have been working diligently with our suppliers to ensure we have enough supply to meet customer demand “.

CVS said the shortages are all temporary and that they are “working with our suppliers to ensure continued access.”

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You can try to go online, but forget about the fast shipping. Most orders take weeks to arrive.

In small businesses like Quail Valley Pharmacy in Missouri City, they are feeling the impact of prescription drug shortages.

According to the FDA, some of these very common can experience shortages like albuterol, epinephrine, insulin, and some saline solutions.

“Sometimes it’s hard to get this across to our patients, but hopefully it’s something that not only the FDA but the various drug companies are working on to help us,” said licensed pharmacist Vanese Berry.

Her advice is to try to plan ahead.

“Be a little more proactive, you know, by calling your pharmacy, getting your meds refilled and having that extra supply (if you can) on hand so you don’t go through that disruption,” Berry said. She also added that back orders for drugs at her pharmacy typically take around 30 days.

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