Cullman independent pharmacies unaffected by supply chain disturbances

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(Sara Gladney for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – There have been recent reported shortages of some prescription drug medications in North Alabama due to supply chain disturbances. The Food and Drug Administration says over 100 drugs are in short supply nationally. Causes of shortages include natural disasters, manufacturing problems, discontinuations and a short supply of raw materials. Drug shortages were exacerbated by the worldwide pandemic, but have been an ongoing problem for the medical community for decades.

Many pharmacies in Cullman have so far been unaffected by the shortage. Heritage, Borden, McSwain and Specialty pharmacies of Cullman reported no issues in receiving medication. These pharmacies are all independent pharmacies which, according to Chris Borden of Borden Family Pharmacy, gives them an advantage over chain pharmacies when it comes to acquiring prescription medication.

Borden says, “The chain pharmacies get almost all of their products through a centralized distribution system, so they get them from their own distributor; whereas I have the ability to buy from any number of distributors. So, if my wholesaler is out of something, I go to my secondary or tertiary wholesalers. That means my patients rarely experience a long-lasting shortage.” As a general rule, anything we need we can get within 24 hours.”

Walgreens and CVS pharmacies staff were not authorized to comment on whether their pharmacies had experienced any shortages.

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