When the flu rages, the US releases drugs from the national stockpile

WASHINGTON – The Biden administration said on Wednesday that it will release prescription flu doses from the Strategic National Stockpile to states as flu patients continue to flock to hospitals and doctors’ offices. doctors across the country.

this year flu season hit hard and early. Some people even notice empty shelves at pharmacies and grocery stores as they shop for over-the-counter drugs because of the spike in cases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the flu has resulted in 150,000 hospitalizations and 9,300 deaths this season.

Dawn O’Connell, assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the CDC, said: “Regions will be able to get help. needed to keep Americans healthy as flu cases increase this winter. statement.

The administration said states will be able to request doses of the prescription flu drug Tamiflu kept in the Strategic National Stockpile from HHS. The department has not announced the number of doses that will be given.

This flu season is approaching nasty spikes of RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, childhood cases and just as COVID-19 cases are on the rise — again.

Shortages of topical pain relievers and over-the-counter medications have been reported in stores nationwide, especially for children.

For example, CVS Health has placed a two-product limit on all children’s pain relief products purchased through pharmacies or online. Walgreens is limiting customers to six times buying online over-the-counter fever-reducing products for children.

The Food and Drug Administration has not reported a shortage of Tamiflu. However, the federal agency says the prescription antibiotic amoxicillin is in short supply due to increased demand.


AP Health journalist Mike Stobbe in New York contributed to this report.

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