Capital Region doctors, pharmacists deal with medicine shortage

All it takes is one quick glance at the depleted shelves at your local pharmacy, and you can see for yourself what the problem is.

“It’s not something to panic about,” said John McDonald, the owner of Marra’s Pharmacy in Cohoes, “Is it a concern? Yeah.”

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McDonald says medicine shortages are something he deals with on a regular basis, but now with the so-called tripledemic of continued COVID cases, the re-emergence of influenza, and RSV already near seasonal peak levels, getting your hands on certain medicine including liquid acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or amoxicillin is nearly impossible.

“Candidly, every morning, the first thing I do when i get to the pharmacy is check the wholesalers supplies to see what I can pick for the day,” McDonald said.

At Community Care Pediatrics in Guilderland, Dr. James Saperstone said some of his youngest patients have wound up in ICU beds this year.

“This season is unlike any other season I’ve witnessed in 42 years,” Saperstone asserted. “We’re seeing more illness than I’ve seen that I can remember. The illness isn’t terrible, but the volume is huge, and I think it’s because for three years the virus has had nowhere to go.”

Now it seems even if people know what they need, they’re not sure where to go to get it.

“When COVID first hit in March of 2020, everybody went out and bought everything not really needing it,” McDonald recalled. “We’re in a little bit different time right now. People actually truly need the product, it’s just not available in an abundant supply.”