Whether you pick up your prescriptions from Walgreens, CVS, or even Walmart, all of us rely on medication from time to time—and some of us have pills we take daily. That’s why drug shortages are so concerning: We count on the pharmacy to have whatever we’re prescribed when we need it, but that’s not always the case. And now, one very common drug is experiencing a new shortage at certain CVS locations, which means you may want to call ahead before showing up. Read on to find out what prescription you might have trouble filling soon.
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The U.S. has been struggling with a number of medication supply issues recently. Over the last month, Americans have been warned about two separate drug shortages. On Oct. 12, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed that the popular ADHD medication Adderall is currently in short supply after patients across the country had reported troubling securing their prescriptions.
Doctors have also just started alerting consumers about a shortage of Ozempic, which is a common diabetes drug that has recently gained viral popularity for its weight loss side effects. The FDA said “intermittent supply disruption” of this medication is expected to continue through at least Nov. 22, as the country is dealing with unprecedented “demand increase for the drug.”
And now, CVS is dealing with the shortage of a different drug at some locations—and it’s one you’ve almost certainly been prescribed.
A potentially life-saving drug is becoming harder for some people at find. On Oct. 17, The Sun Chronicle newspaper in Attleboro, Massachusetts, reported that some of its local CVS pharmacies are experiencing a shortage of the medication amoxicillin. According to the Mayo Clinic, amoxicillin is a penicillin antibiotic that is most commonly “used to treat bacterial infections in many different parts of the body” and is only available with a doctor’s prescription.
On social media, people have been sharing their difficulties procuring this popular antibiotic. “Of course every CVS in the area is out of amoxicillin,” one Twitter user wrote on Oct. 18. And in the Pittsburgh community Reddit page, a user created a thread on Oct. 14 about the shortage. “Have had a bit of an adventure today trying to fill a prescription, and when I called CVS they said they didn’t have any amoxicillin and to their knowledge most CVS [stores] in the area do not,” they wrote.
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A local CVS pharmacy manager told The Sun Chronicle that while she could not speak for the company as a whole, she had experienced difficulty obtaining amoxicillin for her location. “There is a shortage,” she said. But Matt Blanchette, the senior manager of retail communications for CVS, has since confirmed issues with this medication to several news outlets.
“A few stores have seen isolated supplier product shortages of certain doses of the medication,” he told CBS-affiliate WPRI in East Providence, Rhode Island. According to the news outlet, Blanchette stressed that there is not a widespread shortage of amoxicillin, however. “We’re working with manufacturers to replenish supply as quickly as possible,” he added.
The FDA has 126 different medications listed as “currently in shortage” on its Drug Shortage database right now. But unlike Adderall and Ozempic, amoxicillin is not on the list. And other pharmacies are not reporting issues with filling prescriptions for this drug. A pharmacy manager at Walgreens told The Sun Chronicle that its stores are not having the same issue with amoxicillin because they have a different drug supplier. “It hasn’t affected us,” she said, noting that CVS has had to transfer a number of amoxicillin prescriptions to Walgreens to be filled.
Justine Zilliken, chief strategy officer for Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro, told The Sun Chronicle that while there are news reports of patients in other states having difficult filing amoxicillin prescriptions, it doesn’t appear to be a larger issue right now. “In speaking with our pharmacist, chief medical officer, and medical director of pediatrics, we are not experiencing any shortage issues or concerns at this time,” she told the newspaper.
Best Life offers the most up-to-date information from top experts, new research, and health agencies, but our content is not meant to be a substitute for professional guidance. When it comes to the medication you’re taking or any other health questions you have, always consult your healthcare provider directly.