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Walgreens to compound Tamiflu due to shortage
September 24th, 2009
DEERFIELD, Ill. – With a busy flu season looming, Walgreen Co. is preparing to compound Tamiflu capsules because of a short supply of the oral suspension for children.
Walgreens said Thursday that, after drug maker Roche issued a notification that the availability of the Tamiflu liquid would be limited, all of its nearly 7,000 pharmacies in 50 states are ready to compound the capsule version of the antiviral flu medication into an oral suspension prescription.
Currently, there's an adequate supply of Tamiflu capsules, the drug store chain noted.
The Food and Drug Administration has established an approved method for compounding Tamiflu, creating a liquid mixture that ensures the most effective and proper dosing, according to Walgreens. The chain said its pharmacists are trained in compounding and have the necessary ingredients to begin producing Tamiflu liquid from capsules once the manufacturer’s supply is depleted.
"We want to be as prepared as we possibly can be to treat those who are in need of prescriptions and other health care services throughout the duration of what's expected to be a busy flu season," Kermit Crawford, Walgreens senior vice president of pharmacy, said in a statement. "Whether it's providing flu shots, expert advice or having the ability to compound and fill a child's prescription that otherwise might be hard to come by, this is another way our expansive network of pharmacists is positioned to help."
With the spread of the H1N1 "swine flu" virus stoking the public's fears about the upcoming flu season, Walgreens and other chain drug retailers have acted early to get rolling with flu shot programs.
In fact, Walgreens said it's providing seasonal flu shots at a record pace, delivering more than 1 million vaccinations since it began offering them at the start of this month. The chain reported that it administered approximately 1.2 million shots during all of the 2008-09 flu season.
Besides providing seasonal flu shots, Walgreens pharmacies and Take Care clinics are also offering FluMist nasal spray as an alternative to the injection.