Over the last few months, many patients have been unable to find the most basic drugs such as Amoxicillin, Adderall, and Acetaminophen. What is the reason behind this dramatic shortage? Well, if you answered supply chain, you would be partially correct.

At the moment, the supply chain is compromised in two ways. First, many of the parts and products that make up popular drugs originate outside the United States. If access to ingredients is compromised, this will limit production. Second, pharmaceuticals are subject to rigid regulatory requirements. If a factory is shut down for any reason, companies are subject to significant hurdles before resuming production.

Two non-supply side reasons also help to explain the shortage. First, pediatric drugs sell at a low price relative to other drugs. Therefore, companies forego excess production of these drugs and allocate production resources to other medications that might have a greater return. Second, the demand for medication is at an all-time high. With all of the illnesses going around this winter, many parents are in the market for these common pediatric drugs. Quite simply, supply cannot keep pace with this increased demand.

Let’s put away our economics 101 books for a minute and think like a practical parent. What is one to do if their child needs one of these common drugs? First, look around for a new pharmacy. Sometimes, one pharmacy will be out of a certain medicine but another pharmacy two doors down will have it. So, be patient and conduct an extensive search. Second, reach out to us at Premier. We will be happy to brainstorm about different medications you could use or whether there is an alternative to your current prescription.

Any questions or concerns or if you just need someone to talk to, please reach out to us. We are here to help!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year, we will see you on the other side!