Sioux Falls Experiencing Flu Medicine Shortage

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – We’re all just trying to stay healthy during the flu season.

Many doctors prescribe Tamiflu: a drug used to treat the flu for patients of all ages. Dan Peterson, the owner of Dan’s Drugstore in Sioux Falls, says that for the generic version of the drug, just add water, and you’re good to go.

“Add that designated number of mills to here and then just shake it up really well,” said Peterson.

About thirty people a week are opening up a Tamiflu prescription from Peterson, but what happens when a pharmacist reaches for Tamiflu and it’s not on the shelf?”

There’s a shortage of the generic version of Tamiflu in Sioux Falls. The generic version is manufactured by a company called Alvogen, and now the drug is backordered.

“When you have the potential to run out a medication it certainly is concerning and the flu isn’t something you want to mess around with,” said Peterson.

Fortunately, Peterson says Sioux Falls pharmacists tend to help each other out. When one pharmacist is running low, another lends a hand.

“When it’s for the general public, their overall health and well being and that comes first,” said Peterson.

However, Peterson had a few days last week where he completely ran out of generic Tamiflu by the end of the day. When this happens, pharmacists get creative.

“Some places can compound the product,” said Peterson. “That’s basically where they take the capsule and the adult form and then they mix it up.”

Compounds aren’t ideal, but during a busy flu season, it’s the best solution pharmacists can cook up.

If you can’t find the drug at a large pharmacy, smaller pharmacies seem to not run out the drug quite as fast. If that doesn’t work, pharmacists recommend looking for the name-brand version of Tamiflu.


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