Upstate pharmacists say medication shortages the worst they have seen

Cause of drug shortage
Published: Mar. 9, 2023 at 5:24 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 9, 2023 at 5:36 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - According to the FDA, there are currently about 200 drugs in short supply in the U.S. Local pharmacists in Greenville County say it’s the worst they have ever seen.

The manager of Fowler’s Pharmacy, David Maney says he gets 15 to 20 calls a day from people looking for ADHD medicine. He says the generics are in short supply, the only one that hasn’t been is Vyvanse. He says part of the reason for this shortage is the fact that pharmaceutical companies can only produce a certain amount.

“Back during the Obama administration they changed the law on opioids as far as how much a company can produce,” Maney said. “Under that class of drug, which is a schedule two drug, the ADHD medicine falls under the category.”

The FDA states an increase in demand is also a reason for the shortage of the ingredients to make ADHD medicine.

The co-owner of Howard’s Pharmacy in Simpsonville says another part of the problem is that many of our drugs are manufactured overseas.

“I understand why, it can be a lot cheaper to be made overseas, but I do feel like there should be some type of regulation, like no more than a certain amount can be made overseas and that would prevent this from happening,” Howard’s Pharmacy co-owner, Scott Causey said.

A few local pharmacies in Greenville County have the ability to make a compound of a drug. This is another option if the brand name is in short supply. Fowler’s Pharmacy is a location with compounding ability.

“A doctor sends it to us and we can compound anything from hormones to testosterone,” Maney said. “There are also a few different combinations for pain medication.”

Causey said in some cases they have medications that the chain stores don’t have. It boils down to who their wholesalers are.

“We have two primary wholesalers, but we can order from various other ones,” Causey said. “That gives us an advantage and we can sometimes find things that are hard to find.”