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Over-the-counter medicine in high demand

It’s happening at stores in the Charlotte area and across the country, and the pandemic is partly to blame.
We are in the thick of cold and flu season and if you've been to a store lately to grab some medicine, you may notice a lot of empty shelves.
Published: Jan. 31, 2022 at 7:28 AM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – The country is in the thick of cold and flu season, and for those who’ve been to a store lately to grab some medicine to treat their symptoms, they may have noticed a lot of empty shelves.

It’s happening at stores in the Charlotte area and across the country, and the pandemic is partly to blame.

Related: Supply chain issues causing prescription drug shortages

Those empty shelves held over-the-counter medicines to treat things like coughs, sore throats and allergies.

The result is shelves looking a little empty when people may need that medicine the most.

Dr. Martez Prince with Premier Pharmacy in Charlotte says the supply chain issues impacting a multitude of different businesses are now hitting them hard. He also says some of this is due to a shortage of ingredients in some of those medications, specifically if they come from other countries.

There are also obvious staffing issues in the pharmacies and warehouses, many times due to people being sick. All that is happening while there is a higher demand.

“One of the things I would encourage individuals to do is to look at the active ingredient that you’re actually looking for in the medications,” Prince said. “A lot of times, a lot of different products are dual-use. So, just because you’re looking for Tylenol Cold and Flu, sometimes you can find something very similar that can also provide relief for you.”

Prince added that shoppers might want to consider store brands as they often contain the same active ingredients as a brand name and they’re more readily available.

For those with allergies, make sure to stay on top of those medications in advance regardless of the time of year.

Prince says to remember that preventative measures are key. Flu shots and vaccines are still highly recommended. He also recommends limiting exposure to big crowds and people not in your family as much as possible.

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