Six weeks after the FDA added oral suspension Tamiflu to its drug shortages list, pharmacists are breaking open capsules to compound the liquid behind the counter. The capsule supply remains plentiful.
Genentech noted in January that pharmacists could mix capsule contents into "sweetened liquids, such as chocolate syrup," to produce a liquid version of the flu treatment.
A 2009 shortage of the children's liquid formulation led to CDC approval of expired capsules for compounding. Under the federal Shelf-Life Extension Program, the FDA tests select lots and pushes forward the expiration date as indicated by analysis.
The company says it's still trying to figure out what caused the early-season surge in demand that led to the January back-order report, says the Wall Street Journal. The WSJ's check-in with nationwide retailers Walgreen, CVS Caremark and Rite-Aid finds all of them compounding, but some more than others.
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