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Tamiflu Supply Is Scarce In North Texas

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FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) – Tamiflu, the most widely prescribed drug to treat the flu, is in short supply in North Texas. Local pharmacists say it’s a daily battle to secure enough of the medication from suppliers to fill prescriptions.

Pharmacist Andy Komuves, says the 50 doses they received at Dougherty’s pharmacy in Dallas yesterday were gone in an hour. He adds that it’s impossible to get Tamiflu’s pediatric suspension formula.

For now, Komuves is able to fill pediatric prescriptions using the adult dosage, but worries what he will do if can no longer secure orders of that. He says one supplier has placed a limit of 24 boxes per order. Another couldn’t help at all.

“They don’t have anymore to sell us. They said there’s a small amount left, that I suspect they are saving for the hospitals because those are the people that are going to be the most acutely ill, and I do understand that,” he explained.

At Healthcare Associates in Irving, doctors are rationing Tamiflu on days when they receive limited doses from suppliers.

“I tell my patients that are in the 30 year old range that have tested positive: ‘You’re young, you’re healthy, you’re going to do fine with this, you should probably try to ride it out and let’s save Tamiflu for someone who needs it,’” says Dr. Charles Powell.

However, Dr. Powell suggests that anyone who could expose a child or elderly person begin Tamiflu immediately. He is expecting a very tough flu season ahead.

New numbers from the federal government show the flu virus is widespread in 47 states, including Texas. That is up from 41 states last week.

Nationwide, 20 children have died from the flu– including two six-year-olds from Dallas county. The CDC does not track adult deaths, but Dallas County Health and Human Services has confirmed two adults have died from the virus.

Health officials continue to recommend that anyone older than six months get vaccinated. They say this year’s vaccine is about 62 percent effective.

Zorianna Spies is taking that advice and getting a flu shot. She remembers having the flu.

“It was horrible, I was in bed for about 5, 6 days just nauseous, sweaty, fever. Miserable, miserable. I don’t want to go through it again.”

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