Impact of supply chain backlogs on central Virginia pharmacies

Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 5:32 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 6, 2021 at 6:51 PM EST
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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - As the nation continues to face supply chain troubles, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said they’re taking steps to monitor these impacts on prescriptions and medication.

According to the FDA’s website, drug shortages can occur for manufacturing and quality problems, delays and discontinuations.

Right now, the FDA said there are about 111 drugs on backorder, including heart medications, antibiotics and cancer drugs.

In Chesterfield County, Buford Road Pharmacy sees the backlog of these effects on its shelves.

“It’s happening on the prescription side,” said Akash Patel, a pharmacist, and manager of Buford Road Pharmacy. “It’s happening in over-the-counter.”

Patel said allocation is one of the challenges the pharmacy faces during the nationwide shortage.

“There’s medications that people take regularly as maintenance medications, and you see those medications being allocated and not available,” he said. “If you order 20 of it, you only get five of it because you’re allocated that.”

It’s a situation Patel said is impacting the prescriptions they fill for patients.

“We try to give them an alternative, and we call the doctor for the patient,” he said. “Let’s say we’re not able to get something, we try to see if another pharmacy has it.”

If this doesn’t work, Patel said they have to get the doctor to switch the medication.

Patel said they’re working around this, but other pharmacies report no issues getting medications to patients.

“As of right now, we haven’t experienced anything out of the ordinary with outages,” said Everette Darby, owner of Midlothian Apothecary.

Darby said they’re not running into any problems in stocking their shelves.

“We deal with two primary wholesalers, and we have not had an issue with either one being able to get anything that we really needed,” he said. “There’s always outs that will be out for a day or two, but nothing significant and nothing that has impacted one particular group of drugs.”

Shantelle Brown, the owner of Hope Pharmacy, said they hadn’t experienced any shortages.

Brown sent the following statement to NBC12 News:

“Hope Pharmacy has not experienced any shortages that has interrupted our customer care. If one supplier does not have an item, we have been able to use a secondary vendor to facilitate our needs.”

Drug shortage staff within the FDA has asked manufacturers to evaluate their entire supply chain, including active pharmaceutical ingredients, finished dose forms, and any components that may be impacted in any area.

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