MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Mid-South doctor says the record number of flu, RSV, and COVID-19 cases, particularly among children, is creating a shortage in prescription medicines and over-the-counter drugs.
Third-year pediatric resident at UT Dr. David Yanishevski says the calls come in every day.
“They’ll call the office and say, ‘There’s no children’s Tylenol. There’s no children’s Motrin.’ And it ends up the nurse might have to call around to different Walgreens to find a different pharmacy that has those medications.”
The issue isn’t just over-the-counter drugs either. Dr. Yanishevski said they’re also seeing a problem when it comes to prescription drugs.
“Those are medications that your general pediatrician prescribes for an ear infection, and if the Walgreens doesn’t have that medication, we end up having to use medications that are stronger that we normally wouldn’t use for a simple ear infection instead of just giving five days or ten days of oral antibiotics,” he said.
With illnesses like RSV and the flu running rampant, which Dr. Yanishevski says is likely the cause for the shortages, some parents might find themselves in a bind.
When we went inside Walgreens, there were a couple boxes of children’s Tylenol and infant Tylenol, but some of the shelves were empty. We couldn’t get behind the counter to see what prescription drugs were in stock.
The inventory for over-the-counter drugs at a nearby Target was even less.
“It’s tough to provide good patient care when you don’t have the medications. Honestly, really simple medications that we kind of take for granted,” said Dr. Yanishevski.
Dr. Yanishevski said the area hospitals are in stock, so don’t fear. We were also told you can always try your neighborhood urgent care or call your pediatrician if you are in a bind.