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Antibiotics for kids in short supply, Brown pushes for task force

Generic amoxicillin-clavulanic acid tablets with_875mg amoxicillin.
Sage Ross
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Amoxicillin treats illnesses ranging from ear infections to pneumonia in children.

A common antibiotic for sick children is in short supply nationwide and in the Dayton area.

The amoxicillin shortage comes at the same time as a big spike in RSV cases in children.

Amoxicillin treats illnesses ranging from ear infections to pneumonia in children. This makes it one of the most prescribed antibiotics in pediatric cases.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio),signed a bipartisan letter to the Biden administration urging action.

On Wednesday, Brown held a news conference to talk about the shortage and the bipartisan letter.

Kevin Turner, senior medical director of the Rainbow Primary Care Institute at University Hospitals in the Cleveland area, joined the senator on the call. Chad Myers, director of ambulatory pharmacy services at Dayton Children’s Hospital, was also on the call.

This shortage is causing families and prescribers to struggle to find the antibiotic. That could mean a delay in administering the drug, which could worsen health outcomes for children.

“If we don’t have simple antibiotics, even a delay of 4 to 6 hours can make a difference for a patient,” Turner said.

“No child should have to wait, trying to battle a simple infection that too often turns into something much worse because they couldn’t get the medicine they need,” Brown said.

The bipartisan letter Brown signed urged the Biden administration, Department of Health and Human Services, and the Food and Drug Administration to convene the Drug Shortage Task Force. The task force would identify what’s causing the shortage and possible solutions.

Brown also discussed his bipartisan PREPARE Act of 2021. The act would create a one-year, emergency supply of key ingredients used in essential generic medicines. It would also incentivize domestic manufacturing of these key ingredients.

He said the COVID-19 pandemic and this shortage are examples of the need to move the supply line of drugs and drug ingredients to the United States.

For those in the Miami Valley who may need amoxicillin during this shortage, Myers recommended keeping an open dialogue with your provider.

“We recommend that families communicate with their local pharmacies first to see what alternatives they may have available,” he said. “If you are told that your local pharmacy does not have any available alternatives, it would be best to ask your provider to submit an electronic prescription to one of our Dayton Children’s pharmacies.”

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Garrett is a WYSO intern and graduate of University of Dayton. He spent time covering the Dayton area with WDTN Channel 2 News after the 2019 Memorial Day Tornado outbreak. It was around this time that he began listening to NPR and fell in love with radio-based journalism. Garrett graduated from UD in May of 2021 with his Bachelor’s in Communications with a focus in journalism and graduated in May of 2022 with his Master’s. While not working at WYSO, Garrett is an avid reader, loves to play video games, and hanging out with his friends.