SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — The common asthma drug Albuterol is in short supply after one of the last major manufacturers closed its doors. Albuterol is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States, and now, pharmacists in Sioux City are feeling the effects of that shortage.
“We have a couple dozen different Albuterol’s that we order and all of them, we just checked a little while ago. All of them are at quantity zero available. And we’ve used our last one today,” Certified Pharmacy Technician Ruth Smith said.
Pharmacists at Thompson Drug said there is real struggle to keep up with demand for the asthma medication.
According to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, liquid Albuterol has been in short supply since the summer of 2022.
However, the shutdown of Akorn Pharmaceuticals in February is making matters worse locally.
“Haven’t had to short any patients as far as sending them out without any medication, but not give them like full supplies. Like some patients are on it for, you know, a month at a time. We may short them and give them, you know, a weeks worth of medication versus a whole months supply just so we have enough to get, you know, supply for everybody,” Smith said.
Smith said if the shortage gets worse, pharmacies in Sioux City would contact each other and help different locations with their Albuterol supply.
“It’s been going on for a little while now. We have been dealing with it, we check multiple times a day to see manufacturer, the manufacturer says ‘shortage, cannot supply’ so we have to check our wholesaler multiple times a day,” Smith said.
KCAU 9 spoke with another local pharmacy that was not experiencing a shortage of Albuterol. Make sure you check with your pharmacist if it’s medication you need.