Flu medication runs low in Richmond pharmacies

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — This year’s flu season is the worst in 10 years, according to the CDC.

The surge is causing a shortage in an important flu drug.

Pharmacists in Central Virginia said they’re struggling to keep flu medication Tamiflu on shelves as the demand continues to soar.

Michael Cheslock, a certified pharmacy technician at Grove Avenue Pharmacy, said his business has seen an uptick since the start of flu season.

“It’s not my first rodeo, we’ve been through this a lot of years,” Cheslock said.

Cheslock offers Tamiflu to patients fighting flu symptoms. The drug treats symptoms but does not cure them.

“It’s been pretty hectic; we were actually out of it for a few days,” Cheslock said.

Health experts said the influenza virus is widespread across every state.

The demand for Tamiflu isn’t expected to go away anytime soon.

“We try to locate some other pharmacies around us that have some medication in stock and we work together with other stores to assist our patients and getting the medication they need if we happen to be out,” Cheslock said.

Kennedy Dang, a Richmond resident, said he works outdoors and takes precautions to keep himself from contracting the virus.

“Just try to stay hydrated, stay warm, put a lot of layers on,” Dang said.

Pharmacists encourage patients who struggle to access Tamiflu to practice other remedies, such as getting rest, hand washing, wearing gloves and putting a mask on around other people.

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