Lubbock pharmacies struggling to keep important medication on the shelves

Shortage of antibiotics, cough syrup, and allergy medication
Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 9:42 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 8, 2022 at 10:11 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - With more people getting sick this season, some pharmacies are having trouble keeping important medications in stock.

Soon, it may be hard to find simple things like antibiotics and cough medicine.

This can be a scary thought for a parent with a sick kid at home. Kelsie Hatchett is the mother of 4-year-old Briggs. Briggs has had strep at least three times this year. Kelsie says the thought of not being able to get what she needs in the future is scary.

“It seems like every day you’re hearing of another friend or family member who is sick and they’ve either got flu, they’ve got RSV, COVID, and respiratory illness,” Hatchett said. “So, it is a scary thing him getting sick and maybe he didn’t tolerate it as well that time.”

Jerad Thornhill is the owner of Thornhill’s Pharmacy’s in Shallowater and Lubbock. Antibiotics, cough medicines, and allergy medicines are flying off the shelves in his stores. He says on top of the high demand, all of these items are on back order.

“It’s been a real struggle to fulfill the majority of the prescriptions that are coming in for patients that are actively sick,” Thornhill said.

Trying to restock the shelves, Thornhill says he frequently checks with suppliers to see if anything is in stock. Then, checks with providers to find something comparable.

“Typically, we’re able to get someone taken care of that route,” Thornhill said. “The other option is a lot of times if something else is available we may have to order it and get it in for the next day.”

Every time you hear more sneezing and coughing around town, Thornhill says pharmacies experience shortages, but it’s never been like this.

“But for whatever reason this year it seems like it’s been, I don’t know if it’s still supply chain issues from COVID, or what it might be, but it’s this year in particular it seems to be quite a struggle,” Thornhill said.

Thornhill says there could be more than one problem affecting medicine making it to the stores.

“I think it’s a combination of supply chain and there are starting to be fewer and fewer manufacturers making some of these medications,” Thornhill said.

Kelsie is mom to Briggs, but she’s also a nurse. She says it’s important to make sure you absolutely need antibiotics before getting them so patients in the hospital have access.

“Now more than ever, it is important for us to take care of our bodies and really focus on letting them use those natural defenses to preserve those medications,” Hatchett said.

Hatchett says she understands wanting to treat children immediately; she shares that feeling as well, but she says it’s important to preserve that medication for everyone.

Thornhill says it’s not just cold and flu medications that are a problem currently. He says stores are low on ADHD medication and blood pressure medication as well.