The Biden administration said Wednesday it will release prescription flu doses from the Strategic National Stockpile to states as flu patients continue to flock to hospitals and doctors’ offices across the country. across the country.
This year’s flu season hit hard and early. Some people even notice empty shelves at pharmacies and grocery stores as they shop for over-the-counter drugs because of the spike in cases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the flu has resulted in 150,000 hospitalizations and 9,300 deaths this season.
Dawn O’Connell, assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the CDC, said: “Jurisdictions will be able to get the support they need. needed to keep Americans healthy as flu cases increase this winter.” statement.
States will be able to request doses of the prescription flu drug Tamiflu kept in the Strategic National Stockpile from HHS. The administration did not disclose how many doses will be given.
Last week, HHS also announced it would allow states to use Tamiflu in the statewide stockpile, providing millions of courses of treatment. Tamiflu may be prescribed to treat the flu in people over 2 weeks of age.
Shortages of topical pain relievers and over-the-counter medications have been reported in stores nationwide, especially for children.
For example, CVS Health has placed a two-product limit on all children’s pain relief products purchased through pharmacies or online. Walgreens is limiting customers to six times buying online over-the-counter fever-reducing products for children.
The Food and Drug Administration has not reported a shortage of Tamiflu. However, the federal agency says prescription antibiotics amoxicillin is in short supply due to increased demand.