Flu medicine harder to get as flu season reaches its peak

Posted at 9:36 PM, Jan 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-22 21:36:45-05

MUNCIE, Ind. -- A Muncie father says he's frustrated after his 6-year-old son was diagnosed with the flu and he couldn't get the medication prescribed because Medicaid would only cover the generic brand. 

After searching and calling several local pharmacies he was finally able to get the prescription filled, but Adam Bash said their debacle has him worried about other people in his son's situation might be forced to wait days for the medication they need. The flu season is just reaching its peak and 79 Hoosiers have already died from the flu this season

Bash said after the doctor prescribed Tamiflu for his son, Gregory, they went to the pharmacist to pick up the medication. It wasn't until after he got there that the pharmacist told him they were out of the generic brand and might not have any in for a couple of days. The problem though, was that the pharmacist was not authorized to fill the prescription with name brand Tamiflu because Medicaid won't allow it. 

READ | Flu deaths increase 37% in Indiana in 1 week

"While I understand there are cost limitations and restrictions for those programs when it comes to a child's life - there should be a policy," said Bash. "Regardless of the cost, nothing should prevent the proper care and treatment of that child."

The Family and Social Services Administration presides over the Medicaid program in Indiana.

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Marni Lemons, a spokesperson for that agency, says in times of a shortage of medication like there is now with Tamiflu, pharmacists can call the management company and ask them to authorize the substitution of a name brand.

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