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Antiviral Drug Supply

CDC is in regular contact with influenza antiviral manufacturers regarding supply and other issues. Some manufacturers are reporting delays in filling orders and CDC is aware of spot shortages of antiviral drugs, specifically generic versions of oseltamivir capsules and suspension in some places experiencing high influenza activity. CDC is working with manufacturers, distributors, pharmacies, and pharmacy benefit managers to understand and address existing gaps in the market, including increasing access to brand name influenza antiviral medications, particularly for oseltamivir, in areas where there may be spot shortages of the generic version of the drug.

In response to high influenza activity this season and the high volume of influenza antiviral prescriptions dispensed, Genentech (i.e., the manufacturer of Tamiflu®, the brand name version of oseltamivir) has taken additional actions to increase patient access to product. In addition, Major Pharmacy Benefit Managers, including Express Scripts and OptumRx, have made Tamiflu® capsules and suspension preferred on their formularies (single source brand/preferred brand). A formulary is a list of drugs covered by an insurance company. So this move means that some insurance companies will now cover brand name oseltamivir (i.e., Tamiflu) and it will allow for the drug to be covered at the lowest cost for a brand name drug (as determined by individual insurance companies). In addition, some insurance company prescription plans are allowing the brand name product to be processed as generic, if the generic version of the drug is not available. This means that they will cover Tamiflu® for the same copay as generic brands of oseltamivir, if the generic version is not available. People seeking influenza antiviral medications, such as oseltamivir, are encouraged to check with their pharmacy or insurance company if they have additional questions on individual drug coverage.

Additionally:

  • When commercially-manufactured liquid suspension formulation is not readily available, pharmacists may compound an oral suspension from oseltamivir 75mg capsules as described in the FDA-approved manufacturer package inserts as an alternative.
  • Pharmacies and others attempting to make bulk purchases of influenza antiviral drugs may need to call more than one distributor or manufacturer to locate medications available for purchase in the short term.
  •  Individual patients seeking to fill an influenza antiviral prescription may want to call ahead to make sure their pharmacy has product on the shelf to fill their prescription. It may be necessary to call more than one pharmacy to locate these medications.
  • Additional discounts may be available through some pharmaceutical providers.

CDC will update this page as needed with respect to influenza antiviral supply this season.

Manufacturer Contact Information

The following manufacturers have provided their contact information for inquiries related to product availability:

Oseltamivir

  • Generic:
  • Brand:
    • Genentech Customer Service Center
      1 (800) 551-2231

Zanamivir

  • GlaxoSmithKline Customer Service Center
    1 (800) 877-1158
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