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Local pharmacists in short supply of amoxicillin

Patients are having a hard time filling prescriptions
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Posted at 6:46 PM, Sep 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-23 19:46:47-04

If you've been prescribed a prescription for amoxicillin lately, chances are you may have had a hard time getting it filled at your local pharmacy.

KRIS 6 News spoke with local pharmacists who said they're having trouble keeping the drug in stock and supply chain issues are to blame. There are several factors behind this shortages as well.

"When it's in so much demand, they don't see the incentive," Dr. George Udeani, clinical professor and Head of Pharmacy Practice at Texas A&M Univsersity-Corpus Christi and TAMU-Kingsville said.

Udeani said only a couple of countries in the world produce the active pharmaceutical ingredient in amoxicillin.

So, any disruption in how the drug gets to the U.S. can have major consequences.

"There is certainly a supply issue for raw materials," Udeani said. "There's a demand issue, there are regulatory issues and there is business issues."

But for pharmaceutical companies, profits for producing the drug are small.

"A drug such as amoxicillin is very inexpensive," Udeani said. "It's in demand throughout the world and we can get amoxicillin capsules or tablets for $2 or $3."

Udeani said there are alternative drugs available, but it's up to residents to make sure a pharmacist can fill it.

"In amoxicillin there may be alternatives, such as the stronger versions of amoxicillin, which is called ogmentem or cefalexin," he said. "The pharmacist just can't go and change that because they don't know the infection the physician is treating. They don't know the patient and so that becomes a problem."

He suggests having your doctor add the generic or other brands of the drug to ensure your prescription is ready when you need it.

It's unclear when the supply chain issues will be resolved. Also unclear is if that will lead to other drugs being in short supply.