Southern Arizona feeling impact of Amoxicillin shortage

KMSB News 5:30-6 p.m. recurring
Published: Nov. 11, 2022 at 8:55 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Many parents are dealing with sick kids at home thanks to the flu and Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV.) With this severe season, many are now finding there’s a shortage of an important antibiotic for children. Now, doctors are finding it hard to find the right drug to treat them.

It’s called Amoxicillin. It’s a drug used to treat things like ear and sinus infections and certain pneumonias. Dr. Sandy Herron said it’s her office’s “first line of defense.”

“Amoxicillin is our tried and true. It’s generally our first line antibiotic for secondary infections,” she added.

According to the FDA website, Amoxicillin is listed as “currently in shortage.” That shortage is even happening in Southern Arizona. Herron said it’s impacting her practice Tanque Verde Pediatrics saying: “We will send it {the prescription} and then find out from parents later that it wasn’t available. So, then they’ll want us to call it into another pharmacy, and then another pharmacy, and then another pharmacy.”

Amoxicillin manufacturer USAntibiotics is also working to fight this shortage. A spokesperson for the company sent over this statement that reads in part:

“Unfortunately, an early and severe outbreak of RSV and secondary infections is also contributing to this shortage. Parents should never be forced to visit multiple pharmacies to find the medicine needed to cure their children’s infections, nor should hospitals have to choose which patients get full doses of prescribed antibiotics, particularly when there is a trusted solution here at home.”

In that statement, it also said USAntibiotics has “repeatedly” reached out to the Biden Administration to help with supply. According to the company, every dose of Amoxicillin that will be needed in the U.S. over the next five years can be manufactured and stored at the US Antibiotics facility in Tennessee.