Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Check your prescription meds for shortages, and stock up if necessary


The FDA publishes a list of the medications currently experiencing shortages in the USA.  Some are commonly used, and a shortage may pose a serious, even life-threatening risk to their users (e.g. injectable epinephrine, used in applications like the well-known Epipen and similar products to treat cardiac arrest, anaphylaxis [allergic reactions], etc. - four different versions of that medication are currently listed as being in short supply).

Miss D. and I are fortunate in that none of our prescribed medications currently appear on that list - but some have in the past, and others may pop up there in future.  There are currently 114 medications on the list, which is a pretty scary number if you're likely to need one of them.  I keep a careful watch on the list, and also strive to maintain at least a 180-day reserve supply of our vital medications (which I'd like to stretch further, but right now that's not possible).

If you don't have a reserve supply of a medication critical to your health and well-being, I strongly suggest that you take steps to build up a reserve as quickly as possible.  You won't be able to charge it to your medical insurance, but if you can pay cash for it, your medical practitioner may be willing to write you a prescription for an extra 90-day supply, and explain to your pharmacy why you want it.  (That's how I built up Miss D.'s and my reserves.)  You can also buy some prescription medications from animal medication vendors;  azithromycin or doxycycline for animals is the same drug as for humans, and often produced to the same quality standards.  (Do your homework on that!)  Finally, some medications can be obtained outside the USA for much lower prices than within our borders.  Many people shop at pharmacies in Mexico, or have friends do so, or order by mail from pharmacies even further afield.  It's illegal, but it happens, and I haven't heard of US Customs officers doing anything to stop such medications coming over the border in personal-use quantities.  (Even the airports in Mexico have vending machines offering medications that are hard to find in the USA, at far lower prices.)

In these days of supply chain blockages and sudden shortages, you don't want to be caught short of life-supporting medications.  This should be one of the highest-priority items on your list of emergency preparations.  It's even more important when you consider that almost the entire US drug-manufacturing industry has been outsourced to China.  Given geopolitical tensions on top of the supply chain crunch, our medication supplies could be interrupted at any time.



Arthur Sido said...

This is a critical need, any advice on reputable online pharmacies where you can buy extra meds (like synthroid)?

Peter said...

@Arthur: There's the Synthroid Delivers program, and many online pharmacies offer it - do a search on "Buy Synthroid online" and you'll get lots of results. As to their being reputable, there's the rub. You'll have to do more searches for "(Name of online pharmacy) complaints" or "ditto scams" or that sort of thing. That should highlight any serious problems.

Reliable RX Pharmacy have been reliable in the experience of some of my friends. See:


However, there's always the risk of confiscation en route. Hope this helps.

ruralcounsel said...

US Customs will seize overseas shipments of personal-use quantities. They've done it to me twice. You get a nice little letter from them warning you, but since they generally can't trace it to something you did (it just shows up, no proof that you ordered it), that's generally the end of it.

You'd think they'd have bigger fish to fry than stop Viagra from India or the Philippines. But it is so much cheaper than the US made stuff, the pharma guys are probably pissed.

The Freeholder said...

I've used AllDayChemist twice for Vitamin I and some other things. I've not had a shipment go astray. Seem to be good folks to deal with.

Jim said...

Thanks for posting this. Luckily none of my meds are on the list. I have been gradually building up my stocks for some time now and currently have a 60 day supply.

tweell said...

Jase Medical jasemedical.com offers an antibiotic kit. Answer the health questions, pay $250 ($20 discount code canadianprepper) and they send some very expensive antibiotics. The questionnaire gets run by a doctor, part of the expense.

Ritchie said...

U.S.Postal Service stealing mail, go figure.

Jennifer said...

Note that most of the shortages involve injectable drugs. Also on the FDA list of shortages are the solutions needed to make those drugs injectable--bacteriostatic water and saline. I checked All Day Chemist, ShopMedVet, and Atlantic Medical Supply. All had those solutions back-ordered. ADC also currently shows shortages for many antibiotics.

The FDA commented that shortages of these drugs may cause hospitals to shut down. At a party last night, my husband mentioned this to a doctor friend. The doc was surprised that my husband knew this, and confirmed it as well. He fears our little hospital will shut down soon. The next nearest hospital is 3 hours away.

I have used All Day Chemist for at least a decade, usually 1-2 orders per year. In all that time I have had one order seized by US Customs. ADC replaced it immediately, no questions asked. (But I have heard that they only do that once per customer.)

Helo Bubba said...

Sterile water is on the list. . .😰