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Because of limited inventories and commercial supplies of liquid Tamiflu®, over 4,000 Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies across the United States are converting the available capsules to liquid form. The FDA-approved process, known as compounding, enables more people to benefit from well-known antiviral drug often prescribed for flu cases. Children, the elderly and those unable to swallow capsules usually take the liquid form of Tamiflu.
“We want to assure families and their physicians that our team of pharmacists stands ready to meet the needs of our patients young and old,” noted Dr. John Agwunobi, president of the health and wellness division of Walmart, a division of Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart, Inc. “We have the medication available, and we have pharmacists skilled in compounding oral suspensions.”
Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate) is one of two FDA-approved influenza antiviral drugs recommended by the Centers for Disease Control for use against the seasonal influenza virus and the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus (“swine flu”).
Earlier this month, Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix also began compounding Tamiflu capsules into the oral suspension at its 795 pharmacy departments.