Chemists are running out of flu drugs as outbreak worsens

 

Parts of Australia are already in the grip of an influenza outbreak and now chemists in Queensland are beginning to run out of flu-fighting drugs.

Some outlets in Brisbane have no stocks of Tamiflu left at all.

Tamiflu is the drug most commonly used to try to stop the flu in its tracks but doctors are warning that soon patients may have trouble getting their prescriptions filled.

Stocks of Tamiflu are running out in Brisbane. Source: AAP

At one Fortitude Valley chemist they were down to their last packet on Friday.

"We've got one box left," Owen Pharmacy Group's Chris Owen said.

"It's been a struggle getting supplies from wholesalers.

"This season particularly, the demand has outstripped the supply."

Demand for Tamiflu is currently outstripping supply. Source: 7 News

With the flu outbreak getting worse, many people are opting for home visits from GPs in an attempt not to spread the virus.

"At least 50 per cent of patients we're seeing on our house doctor visits have been gastro and flu," Dr Shalini Maran says.

While there is a shortage at some pharmacies, there are emergency stockpiles of Tamiflu at some Queensland hospitals.

Dr Shalini Maran says 50 per cent of her house calls at the moment are flu and gastro-related. Source: 7 News

Seven News understands that the state's public health supply of Tamiflu is adequate.

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Importantly, flu shots are still available and pharmacists and doctors say it is not too late to get vaccinated.

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