NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY)- A nationwide shortage of prescription pills is hitting pharmacies in Hampton Roads.
The FDA announced shortages of Adderall, a drug used to treat attention deficit disorder and narcolepsy, and of Amoxicillin, a popular antibiotic. Both shortages are attributed to supply chain issues.
Several local pharmacists told 10 On Your Side that new patients are requesting the medications after large chain pharmacies such as Walgreens or CVS weren’t able to fill the requests.
Dave Bass owns Mac Arthur Pharmacy in Norfolk and says locally-owned pharmacies have great maneuverability when sourcing medications.
“I think a chain usually gets their stuff directly from the manufacturer and maybe one wholesaler, and they have their own warehouses,” Bass said. “We deal with multiple vendors, usually four or five. So if one is out of the medication we can usually call the other to get it.”
Bass said that the Adderall shortage is exacerbated by overprescribing. He says patients use telehealth services to quickly get online prescriptions for drugs, usually without speaking extensively to the prescribing provider.
“They’ve always had a situation when they’ve talked about overprescribing,” Bass said. “That’s another thing when they talk to these doctors online, they don’t really have a relationship with these people in person so how can they decide if they need Adderall or some other type of help.”
Bass said Mac Arthur Pharmacy is not accepting new patients seeking Adderall in order to preserve supply for existing customers.
Bass also said that the generic forms of Tamiflu are becoming more challenging to find.
10 On Your Side asked CVS Health about shortages and unfilled prescriptions. Spokeswoman Amy Thibault cited the nationwide supplier shortages of both generic amphetamines, which is used to make Adderall, and of certain doses of Amoxicillin.
“We’re continuing to supply stores with Tamiflu and other flu-related medications using our existing inventory network, but there may be instances when individual pharmacies could be temporarily out-of-stock.” Thibault wrote in an email. “We’re closely monitoring the situation and are working with suppliers to ensure our patients have access to these medications.”