ONLY ON 3: Specialized pharmacies see greater demand as supply of some drugs lags

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Nationwide, there is a long list of prescription drugs that are in short supply. From certain cancer medications to painkillers, the supply of these drugs is dwindling.

The drug shortage is affecting some local doctors offices. That’s why they’ve contacted one Wilmington pharmacy for help.

Pharmacists at Medical Center Pharmacy on 16th Street are busier than usual. This is not your everyday pharmacy. It’s one of a select few in the state that can make medication.

“We keep a lot of pure chemicals or have access to purchase or be supplied with pure drug products so we can make it or customize it for this particular need,” pharmacy owner Henry Herring said.

Herring says in the past few months his pharmacy has created medicine for about a dozen different physician’s offices. Many of them have been searching for large quantities of pain medication.

“Fentanyl is used a lot in doctor’s offices for procedures. It’s not been available. We’ve been making that,” Herring said.

But making these medications means juggling regular duties as well as these requests.

“The products we’re having to supply are still products that require a little extra time and facilities, but we’ve been able to manage that so far,” Herring said.

There’s also a need for anti-seizure and cancer medication. Herring has not been able to fulfill those needs yet, but he hopes to have it available in the next few weeks, if the need is still there.

We spoke with Wilmington SurgCare, which confirmed its office is dealing with a drug shortage.

The FDA has recently taken steps to ease the cancer drug shortage. It is allowing substitute versions to be imported into the US.

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