Walgreen Co. said its pharmacies in all 50 states are prepared to compound Tamiflu capsules into an oral suspension amid a supply shortage of the antiviral medication.


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Walgreens set to compound Tamiflu in response to shortage

March 1st, 2011

DEERFIELD, Ill. – Walgreen Co. said its pharmacies in all 50 states are prepared to compound Tamiflu capsules into an oral suspension amid a supply shortage of the antiviral medication.

According to Walgreens, Tamiflu capsule remain in adequate supply. However, the drug store chain reported Tuesday that a spike in demand for the liquid form of Tamiflu for children has resulted in a shortage of the flu-fighting drug.

The company noted that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu activity is on the rise and now widespread in 44 states. Until recently, this flu season had been relatively quiet.

"These are the highest levels of flu activity health officials have seen this season," Kermit Crawford, president of pharmacy services at Walgreens, said in a statement. "For people who get sick and who are prescribed an antiviral drug like Tamiflu, it's best if started within the first 48 hours.

"With the shortage of liquid Tamiflu for children, we've taken proactive measures to ensure our pharmacists can compound these prescriptions, and many have already begun doing so," Crawford stated. "In addition, we continue to offer flu shots at all of our stores and Take Care Clinics every day."

Walgreens said that being ready to compound Tamiflu capsules into the liquid form will enable it to continue filling Tamiflu oral suspension prescriptions without interruption. The company reported that Tamiflu (oseltamivir) is the most widely prescribed antiviral flu medicine for children and adults, according to IMS Health.

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