Medication shortages affecting Charlottesville-area pediatrician’s office

Published: Feb. 13, 2023 at 1:05 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - RSV and flu cases are going down, but a Charlottesville-area pediatrician is feeling another pain in her office.

Doctor Paige Perriello with Pediatric Associates of Charlottesville says medication shortages are a nightmare.

“It’s just taking a huge toll on the system and on families,” Dr. Perriello said. “Common stimulants that we use to treat ADHD and other underlying conditions have been a really big stretch right now.”

It’s difficult because these are chronic issues doctors are trying to treat, meaning the demand isn’t going down any time soon.

“All we can do is have people call,” Dr. Perriello said. “Whether it’s families or whether it’s our office, to call and just see what they have that day.”

It’s a community effort when it comes to crowdsourcing medicine.

“At least in our area, we’ve been able to work creatively,” Justin Vesser with UVA Health Ambulatory Pharmacy said. “We’re in the middle of coughing, cold season, you know. Kids are in school, they’re getting sick, and some of the antibiotics that have been around for years are on shortage.”

As a result, they’re repeatedly having to switch patients’ usual therapies to alternatives.

“The only things that are left that are kind of in the same category are newer things, name-brand things, much more expensive, maybe not covered by their insurance,” Vesser said. “So then you have to make even more difficult choices.”

These shortages come from the supplier, but that, on top of COVID-19 concerns, is causing for overwhelmed pediatricians and pharmacists.

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