Lincoln pharmacy sees effects of nationwide Albuterol backorder

Albuterol, a drug commonly used to treat respiratory issues has been on backorder nationwide, one Lincoln pharmacy is feeling that pain.
Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 10:09 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Kohll’s Pharmacy in Lincoln is no stranger to drug shortages. First it was children’s Tylenol and Ibuprofen in December and now it’s Albuterol.

The liquid form of Albuterol is on a national backorder. The medicine gives asthma, COPD and even allergy patients relief with the help of a nebulizer - a machine that turns the medication into mist and is inhaled through a tube and a mask.

The shortage has been going on since October of 2022, but the effects of it have ramped up since the end of cold and flu season and heading into allergy season.

Bryce Walker, a pharmacist at Kohll’s said drug shortages have been more common since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. They’ve been seeing a short supply of the 2.5mg dosage of Albuterol, the most common.

“I think since the pandemic it has been more common to have demand for different medications outweigh the manufacturing process for that,” Walker said. “Whether it’s manufacturers not being able to produce as much of the ingredients or deliveries being delayed.”

Walker said they’re in contact with their supplier to find out when they can get more product.

“It’s definitely challenging when there’s someone who needs a medication and you can’t provide it for them,” Walker said. “We do our best with what we have.”

For those who might be affected, Walker said they work with the doctors and the patient to find a solution that best fits their needs. Whether that be filling a prescription with a lower dose of Albuterol and having the patient use it for longer, finding an alternative inhaler or checking with other local pharmacies to see if they have product.