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Supply chain issues impact pharmacies and patients: 'Sometimes they have zero (meds) in stock'

Certain medications are in short supply
Posted at 7:01 PM, Dec 10, 2021

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Supply chain issues are hitting pharmacies hard, with certain medications in short supply.

Council Bluffs Pharmacist Tony Beraldi is seeing a lack of both branded and generic products.

"Some medications are really hard to get right now, and it's a day-by-day thing, sometimes they have zero in stock," Beraldi said.

Beraldi has seen all kinds of medications out of stock.

"It could be anything, right now there's a cholesterol med we can't get. Sometimes it's antidepressant, sometimes it's blood pressure meds. The blood pressure med, I checked this morning, we're having trouble getting," Beraldi said.

Beraldi admits that sometimes doctors have to switch patients from Drug A to Drug B if there's a lack of supply.

"It's hard because when the patient gets established on a medication and it's working great, their blood pressure is under control or they have high cholesterol that's under control, you hate to upset the apple cart and change things all at once," Beraldi said.

The FDA reports about 80% of active pharmaceutical ingredients manufacturers are outside of the U.S. and that impacts the supply chain.

"Some are from China, India, Ireland. There's more medications produced overseas," Beraldi said.

Omaha Pharmacy Express' Bruce Goldberg wants to use this as an opportunity to improve our circumstances.

"We need to — not just our industry, but in other industries as well — we need to ramp it up, move back, and share facilities or whatever is really necessary to make it practical for the pharmaceutical industry," Goldberg said.

Beraldi says it's best to let pharmacists know a week in advance if you need to refill your prescription.

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