Lincoln customers feel the effects of nationwide drug shortages - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Lincoln customers feel the effects of nationwide drug shortages

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By: Kayla Bremer
kbremer@klkntv.com

Pharmacists say it's a problem that's becoming more common.

It's suppose to be as simple as it sounds...get a prescription from your doctor, head to a pharmacy to have it filled and be on your way.  But recently, this hasn't always been the case.

"Walmart, Hyvee, Super Saver, Walgreens...nobody had it."

This man wants to keep his identity hidden, but says he was shocked when he went to get his medicine and was told by pharmacy after pharmacy they didn't have them.

"All the pharmacists told me it's back on the supplier and they're ordering 3 weeks in advance, 4 weeks in advance and they're still not getting any."

Hundreds of drug shortages are listed on the FDA's website.  Some of the most recent are medicines used to treat common forms of cancer.  It's forced doctors to delay treatment and choose between patients needing a particular drug.

Debbie Hoeft, a pharmacist at Four Star Drug says the shortages are something they deal with almost on a daily basis.  She says she understands the frustration when a customer is told their prescription can't be filled.

"Old medications that you could always get are all of a sudden not there or the price has gone through the roof on some of them because there's only one company making them, the competition isn't there," Hoeft said.

After a day's worth of calling and going store to store, the man we spoke with says he was finally able to find a pharmacy in town with his prescription.

"He knows (his pharmacist) there's a shortage so I'm trying to figure out why the big drug companies and pharmacies don't do the same thing and so to me, I transferred my business to that drug store because of that."

If you're planning a trip to the doctor to get a prescription, it might be a good idea to check out the FDA list of current shortages just in case.

http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/DrugShortages/ucm050792.htm

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