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Spot shortages of Tamiflu reported

October 29, 2009 3:02:10 PM PDT
Tamiflu- which is used to treat and prevent seasonal and H1N1 flu- is in short supply in the liquid form in Indiana.Pharmacists said the shortage is due to bottlenecks in the distribution system?the liquid form is part of the emergency stockpile that the state of Indiana has set up. They have not been given authority by the CDC to release the medicine in that form even though President Obama declared national emergency with H1N1. It means some are having to mix it up themselves. Pharmacist Jeff Minard consulted a recipe for oral suspension Tamiflu, which is the preferred way to give the medicine to children.

"Well, not really surprised if we could get everything you need to do it. You know, there's not a shortage right now of the capsules. But there is a suspension so you got to get the liquids to make it," said Jeff Minard, pharmacist

The Centers for Disease Control said spot shortages of Tamiflu aren't too much of a worry. But they're monitoring what's happening around the nation

"(It) is much more of a spot shortage that here and there, you know, there's a pharmacy that doesn't have usually the liquid formulation. But there's quite a bit of the capsule formulations out there," said Anne Schuchat, CDC.

The CDC says it is OK to use expired Tamiflu to treat H1N1. At the Porter Co H1N1 vaccination clinic the region's chief medical officer says in a pandemic there's reason to bend the rules.

"Most of the manufacturers build in a real cushion insofar as the expiration date is concerned, so the drugs are still a very viable product long after the expiration date," said Dr. Gary Babcoke Porter County Indiana Health Dept.

Officials said Tamiflu is OK to use up to a year after the expiration date.


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