Large pharmacies impacted by supply chain issues

Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 4:44 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - You may have had to wait longer to get a prescription filled, in some cases, days.

In the Baptist Health Network, medical supplies remain steady.

Ben Hughes, Baptist’s director of Corporate Pharmacy Contracts, says the hospital is not being impacted by what’s happening on the West Coast.

“On the pharmacy side, we tend to put more on the shelf, especially if we know that there’s a potential shortage issue,” Hughes said.

Hughes said that’s a newer strategy after facing shortages of various medicines and medical supplies, like PPE, at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Fortunately, we have very good working relationships with our wholesaler,” said Hughes. “We find out when there’s a shortage issue. There’s occasionally times when we have to pivot and use an alternative product.”

It seems to be the larger pharmacy chains that are experiencing these delays.

Stories of prescriptions, like insulin, taking days to get refilled at Walgreens are emerging. Patients are being told the pharmacy is waiting on the shipment to come in.

We reached out to Walgreens for comment and are waiting to hear back.

CVS echoed a similar response to Baptist’s when responding to our questions of potential shortages in their Mid-South pharmacies.

Representatives from Methodist Le Bonheur also told Action News 5 they are also not being impacted by the supply chain backup, and locally owned pharmacies appear to be in good shape, aside from a few sporadic shortages here and there.

Hughes advised that whatever pharmacy you fill your prescriptions at, try an alternative product if the one you normally use is on delay.

“Just don’t wait until the last minute to get your prescription filled,” Hughes urged. “Go when you still have a few days left, and if you can get a 90-day supply, I would encourage you to do so.”

President Joe Biden is set to give remarks on the ongoing supply chain crisis on Wednesday.

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