Ohio pharmacies see shortage in flu medication

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Ohio pharmacies are experiencing shortages of an antiviral medication that helps reduce symptoms of the flu at a time when the illness is on the rise.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that nearly 1,000 people have been hospitalized statewide as of Dec. 13.

Those who are trying to ease their symptoms at home with a medication called Tamiflu might have trouble getting it at their pharmacy right now. The newspaper reports that the head of the Ohio Pharmacists Association says the demand for Tamiflu appears to be overwhelming the supply at the moment.

Tamiflu manufacturer Genentech issued a statement that said the company was prepared for this flu season but acknowledged there might be spot shortages. Health officials say Ohio is experiencing an especially severe flu season thus far.

Locally, ValleyCare and Sharon Regional officials said they have seen between four to six cases of the flu. Mercy Health said they have treated flu patients but would not say how many.

Pharmacies around the Boardman area are stocked with the Tamiflu product. Walgreen’s representatives said they have enough to last at least for the next couple of days.

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